The question from my husband surprised me. My answer surprised me even more.
No. I wasn’t having fun.
I was stressed and grumpy. I couldn’t stop fidgeting. Instead of enjoying some down time with the DH, my belly was churning over one thought–I should be writing! I don’t have time to sit here doing nothing! (Ok… I suppose that’s actually two thoughts. O.o) Reaching my max with his incessant questions of “Are you okay?” and “What’s wrong?” I blurted out, “Everything! Everything’s wrong! I should be writing right now. I should be pounding away at my keyboard trying to give birth to this story that is swimming inside my head! And yet every time I do I get stuck. Where do I start? What is her end? What the hell is she going to do in the middle? I don’t have time to sit here watching uneducated, silly, why-do-I-get-a-little-apartment-in-Italy-when-the-other-cycles-got-a-mansion girls on ANTM when I should be creating!” I might have even shaken my fists like a two-year-old child.
Joe calmly listened and then asked, “Are you having fun writing?”
“Isn’t that what it’s all about? Isn’t that why you’re doing this? Because you enjoy it? If you’re not having fun then what’s the point? So… are you having fun?”
You already know my answer. And it gave me a LOT to think about. I love writing. That much is certain. But when I read others blogging things like “first drafting is the time to ride the ‘OH MY GOSH I’M AMAZING AND THIS STORY IS AWESOME’ high”, I honestly have no idea what they are talking about. Maybe my first chapter feels that way, but then, it’s just labor pains. Lots and lots of labor pains without the benefit of an epidural.
I’d love to trade my labor pains for the ecstasy of conception.
*daydreams of a first draft high when every page is so exciting to write even if it’s crap because, hey, I’m writing!*
But I find I get too caught up in the industry and the blogging and the authors who are already rocking their newest novels. I stress over things I can’t control and steps I haven’t reached. So maybe I’m not experiencing labor pains so much as I’m experiencing false contractions.
I guess what Joe taught me last night is that I need to be having fun. I need to allow myself to enjoy the ride rather than stress over the last loopty-loop at the very end. So today I’m gonna forget the rest of the world exists. Publishers? What publishers? Rules? What rules? Today my story is for me. Today Keres and I will travel her world together as we try to figure out how a serial killer angel finds redemption for her sins. We’ll laugh (because we’re both a little crazy). We’ll cry (because we both are gonna need it). But mostly, we’ll live and in that living we’ll enjoy the moments of pure creation.
So… are you having fun writing? If yes, how do you maintain that enthusiasm? If not, what are some of your hurdles? And how in the world are you gonna overcome them?