Find your bliss!

Excuse me, I have something I’d like to say (besides how cute my kid is, which … duh).

I’m in the middle of revising completely rewriting my novel. It was a tough write the first time around, mostly because I put so much pressure on myself to FINISH THE DAMN THING ALREADY! And … yeah. You can totally tell which bits I actually enjoyed writing versus those bits I didn’t. The former flows effortlessly; the latter is stilted, forced and maybe even a little even depressing.

Writing is supposed to be fun, and I absolutely believe that if you’re not having fun, your manuscript is going to reflect it. Take, for example, two of my favorite books, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and The Eyre Affair. These books are wildly different — one is a murder mystery featuring an 11-year-old protagonist in 1950s England and the other is … well, the stunningly creative genius of Jasper Fforde — but each exudes pure joy from start to finish. You can tell that the authors had fun writing them.

Now, obviously not all books are supposed to evoke a spirit of lightheartedness the whole way through, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still have fun while writing them. An example that springs to mind is The Book Thief. Serious subject matter, highly depressing elements, and yet somehow it’s a fun read. I have to imagine it’s because the author enjoyed writing it. I’ve read books that are ‘doom and gloom, woe is me’ from start to finish, as if the author was pulling out his or her teeth in between taps of the keyboard, and this is not my cup of tea. I feel as if I need to call my therapist at the end of the whole thing and make an appointment.

What about you? Am I off base on this? Do you think there are some times writing should be a laborious drain, if the subject matter calls for it, or should all writing be fun all the time? Somewhere in the middle?

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2 Responses

  1. Sarah Enni says:

    I definitely had those moments where I was simply slogging through a scene to write it. Yuck! But sometimes you have to, just to get it done. However, I won't consider my WiP finished until every word gets a fair shake, and when I'm in a good mood!

    I can't read overly depressing books at all, though a little bit of sadness can be important and beautiful.

  2. Lia Victoria says:

    I think you have to enjoy writing as you do it. Some books that are very depressing are some of my favorite, because I *still* feel like the author was getting it all of his/her chest, and enjoyed doing that.

    That being said, if my insides aren't smiling as I'm writing, it comes out as glum and blah, lol :]

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