Write what you LOVE!

Yesterday, I started writing a somber, angst-ridden post. I guess the title and the hearts are clues this is not that post. My last post was a bit of a downer. Some of your comments led me to search my soul, question my Muse, and whine to some friends. Oh yeah, I can be a real joy.

The conclusion? I’d stopped writing for the sheer love of writing and started writing with the mindset of production. My work had ceased to be a creative expression and become merely a commercial product. I’d tried to force it. I worked on four different books. But ultimately, I ground to a halt.

Then a friend asked me to read the blurb for her next book, and the wheels started turning. Her blurb reminded me of one of my book ideas. I’d written up some notes and a couple of opening paragraphs. I looked for the file. It took me two hours because I couldn’t remember what I’d named the file, plus I thought I’d started it last year. When I finally found the right file, it had a nondescript name and was dated ’09.

I read what I’d worked up and realized the original idea wouldn’t quite work … but then … oh, then the floodgates opened! I could change this. I could tweak that. And—Oh!—what if this happened? I got so excited that I couldn’t write fast enough and had to go back to the computer to type.

I had doubts. “Is this crazy?” I asked myself. “Can I do this in my “genre”? “Could this be a good story?” I emailed a friend. She wrote back, “I think it would be great!” And that was confirmed when I remembered one of my favorite quotes:

“Listen to Mustn’ts, child, listen to the Don’ts.
Listen to the Shouldn’ts, the Impossibles, the Won’ts.
Listen to the Never Haves, then listen close to me.
Anything can happen, child, Anything can be.”

-Shel Silverstein

So, I’m off and running. I’m writing, writing, writing. I’m in love again.

Write what you love, dear readers. Life’s too short not to.

34 thoughts on “Write what you LOVE!

  1. Oh, Linda, you don’t know how wonderful this post is to me today, right now, this very minute. And you posted my very favorite Shel Silverstein poem. Thank you.

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  2. Great reminder. My mom always said to smile when I was talking on the phone–that others could hear that smile across the lines. I think it applies to the written word as well. Amazing how being happy about what we are doing and doing what we love infuses everything.

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  3. I’ve kept up with your blog and I wanted to ask a question, I’m working on writing a “book” about a really disturbing 8 month period of my life, but it is “What I Love” because its how I became “ME”. As a writer, with the memories that hurt, do you think starting with bullets of the memory instead of trying to grasp every detail the first time would make the process less painful, but be able to go back when I’m ready and reveal the depth of the memory, or do you think I should push through when I’m hit wth the fresh memory? I hope this question isn’t too far out there, your the only published writer I have access to, your opinion would mean a great deal. Sincerely, Ashley

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    1. Ashley, I don’t have much experience writing something so personally painful. In fact, the only thing that comes to mind is when I had to write a “letter” to my father to be read at his funeral. In that instance, I just let the words flow. Luckily they made some sense. Maybe an expression pure from the heart always does.

      If you’re not able, not ready, to face in detail all your memories, I think it would be fine to write what you can, even if it’s just a list of words, and then come back to flesh out later. But if some memories want to spill out onto the page, don’t censor yourself. Let the words flow without thought to grammar or structure, just experience it on paper. You can always clean it up later. I’m sure as you write this, one memory will spark another, so you’ll be revising for a while anyway.

      And if you have any other questions, feel free to contact me by email through my Contact page.

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  4. Write what you love! So often we hear these words, yet, so often we find ourselves forgetting the true depth of what they represent — Joy! Happiness! Satisfaction!

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  5. Part of the writing journey does involve angst ridden posts, never ever feel bad for writing them. I think writers who ONLY ever write super positive posts are a bit ‘unreal’ – perhaps they simply do not want to write about the down parts, but I prefer to read about the ups and the downs. It just makes someone more human.

    Glad you’re feeling the love again, I understand how you were feeling before though, you have to just write what’s in your heart, regardless of whether or not it’s ‘commercial’ 🙂

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    1. Well, Alannah, I do try to err on the side of positive most of the time, but I’ve certainly written my share of downer posts. Thank you for being happy for me. I was not a happy camper, though now I feel a little stupid for not realizing the solution before now. 😕

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  6. And I think, when you’re writing about something that isn’t very loveable, you can ‘love what you write’, instead. You’re giving it its very best expression, freeing it from some dark place, making space for it so that it can shine a light on dark things for someone else. Maybe the way you write it will lay ghosts that have been bothering your reader, or give them a way of rehearsing something in imagination that facilitates empathy for another person. Writing unwraps things. It’s magical.

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