How Do You Re-Kindle Love?

To sit and write used to be one of my favourite things in the world. And then a funny thing happened, I started caring a lot more. Worrying about what I was writing. Wondering if it was good enough, if it spoke to people, if it would be liked… and I stopped writing in the same way.

Now, I believe that some of those concerns have led me to become a better writer, but at the same time the raw passion just isn’t there the way it once was.

I used to fill notebooks with the scribble of blue and black pen. I wrote whenever I had 5 minutes to spare. I wrote lists and poems and song lyrics and short stories and blog posts. I wrote so much that I decided I wanted to try and make a career out of it.

I still do want to make a career out of it.

But I realize that I also need to go back and find that love, joy, smile, happy place that I once had.

Writing this is helping with that. Admitting that there is something missing just might be the best 1st step to take if I want to find it.

I don’t know.

I can tell you that I still get excited about new projects. Writing my first post about sports at PhotoJunkie.ca was a great thrill and I’m already thinking about what I’ll write about next week and the week after.

I also still get very happy when I can use my writing to point out important and awesome things that other people are doing. Whether it’s been A Gutsy Affair, Quaker Canada’s Unlock Amazing or reminders on how important voting is – I’ve loved writing about it. Even if the numbers are small when the post goes up I know that I’ve said something worth saying.

In the end I don’t think I actually am afraid that I will stop loving to write. It’s a part of me and has been for more of my life than it hasn’t.

The key now is getting back to the joy.

If you have any suggestions please let me know. I’d love to hear how you’ve regained your passion for the written word.

creator of content, manager of community, writer, tweeter, coffee drinker. sports, comics, movies, food, music & pop culture geek. Proud MoBro.

5 comments on How Do You Re-Kindle Love?

  1. deshipley says:

    I can totally relate. I adore writing, and adore *sharing* my writing; yet every now and then, I miss the way it used to be, when I wrote without the expectation that anyone would ever see a word. Back when my stories consisted of any crazy thing that entered my head, often abandoning actual plot in favor of pages of potentially offensive dialogue, because I wasn’t worried about offending my audience, or pleasing my audience, because…what audience? Back when I didn’t stop to craft the perfect paragraph — one that built up to this clever punchline that would leave ’em rolling in the library aisles, or that would seem to go in one direction only to switchback and sock ’em with the biggest irony since insert-really-ironic-thing-here — because it wasn’t all that serious to me, it was just *fun*.
    Well, writing is still fun. But it’s also work. Because when you want what you create to be enjoyable by you *and* by others, you have to show a little consideration. You have to try to make the writing good. And if you’re aiming for publication and fame and diehard fans for generations to come (which I am), better to try to make the writing mega-good. This has created a measure of self-consciousness that slows me down a bit, and sometimes makes me wonder morosely when my wonderful hobby morphed into a thankless chore.
    Then I look back on the things I used to write, and cringe-slash-laugh at how hilarious-slash-hilariously bad it is. And I look back on the things I’ve written with a higher goal in mind, and smile hugely, because even if it hasn’t been published yet (or, through some cruel and unlikely twist of fate, never will be), it’s work I’m proud of. And making art you can be proud of is aweso-o-ome.
    And on those days when awesome art just seems to refuse to let itself be written… then I can always scribble a poorly-written rant about it for no one’s eyes but mine. (:

    1. Mark says:

      Write what you love, and real fans will love it. Anyone else doesn’t matter.

  2. smpacey says:

    I have two things to say here, of varying length and I apologize ahead of time if this turns into a text wall.

    First up, I just attended a communications lecture this week that advanced the argument that all communication is really dissemination. In short, you throw communicative act X out into the world; sometimes it sticks and bares fruit and sometimes it doesn’t. Your act may have impact today, ten years from now, or never. The point is that communication isn’t really about dialogue, which is to say two people connecting(in this case you + reader)but rather it is about releasing something, anything, into the world and freeing it to grow or whither as may be.

    While you are right to care about the quality of your work, and to keep your potential/target audience in mind, I think this is what cripples every writer at some point. The comment above makes this same point very well. But don’t forget, you are considering the needs/perceptions of an audience that is fundamentally unknowable. There isn’t any sound market research to my knowledge that explains what makes a best seller and what doesn’t. Guidlines and plenty of statistical data sure, but no real *proof* that X+Y equals success everytime.

    With this in mind, I think the goal should be to remove any audience concept or quality guidline from your thinking. People aren’t so different and if you loved writing something, if it is filled with passion, then someone(likely many people)will share, recognize and respond to that. I think the idea is to focus on creation and let the world decide how it gets.distributed.

    On a more practical note, I think the way to free yourself from the mechanical/stylistic considerations that might be stealing your passion is to enlist help. In short, get an editor if you want to be a professional. Rich people don’t do their own home renovations because they know their time is better spent making money at what they are best at and paying a different professional to do what they are less capable at. In a writer’s case the old chestnut that writers write makes a good point. They don’t edit, they don’t take marketing or audience demographics into consideration, they don’t contemplate which medium or distribution channel would best deliver their work. They write dammit! They do it at three am in the grip of some strange communal relationship with a muse. They do it at nine am on the train grinding out three ir four sentences at best. They do it when they are at a desk with a pen in their hand and they do it in their minds when they are engaged in totally unrelated activities, even if they aren’t aware of it.

    And then the get someone much more analytical to go.over that work with a red pen. They learn to trust the skills of an editor and have faith that this person can distill a coherent product, which is hopefully marketable, out of the raw essence and, if you’re lucky, pure genius that has been poured out on the paper.

    If you want to love it again, I suggest you do your best to completely forget about what it looks like or who it might appeal to. You love your Mom don’t you? And I bet you don’t care what anyone else thinks of her or what she looks like. Give that same unconditional love to your work, and let someone else worry about all the other junk. Editors exist for a reason, and I have yet to come across an author who didn’t praise theirs and thank them for turning their art into its final state.

    Writing is a team sport. Maybe it is time you stopped trying to go it alone. Food for thought anyway. Regardless, I wish you the best of luck in your search for renewed passion.

  3. mindslam says:

    It is wild how good it makes you feel writing & then reading what people think about it. I just started my blog a year ago & it’s been the most enjoyable thing I have done since getting online many years ago. Never liked reading books growing up, but I do like reading what people post in their blogs. Great post.

  4. I’m glad someone else has a notebook of ramblings like I do. I haven’t even touched the notebook for my blog yet.

    Good blog. I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award.

Comments are closed.

How Do You Re-Kindle Love?

To sit and write used to be one of my favourite things in the world. And then a funny thing happened, I started caring a lot more. Worrying about what I was writing. Wondering if it was good enough, if it spoke to people, if it would be liked… and I stopped writing in the same way.

Now, I believe that some of those concerns have led me to become a better writer, but at the same time the raw passion just isn’t there the way it once was.

I used to fill notebooks with the scribble of blue and black pen. I wrote whenever I had 5 minutes to spare. I wrote lists and poems and song lyrics and short stories and blog posts. I wrote so much that I decided I wanted to try and make a career out of it.

I still do want to make a career out of it.

But I realize that I also need to go back and find that love, joy, smile, happy place that I once had.

Writing this is helping with that. Admitting that there is something missing just might be the best 1st step to take if I want to find it.

I don’t know.

I can tell you that I still get excited about new projects. Writing my first post about sports at PhotoJunkie.ca was a great thrill and I’m already thinking about what I’ll write about next week and the week after.

I also still get very happy when I can use my writing to point out important and awesome things that other people are doing. Whether it’s been A Gutsy Affair, Quaker Canada’s Unlock Amazing or reminders on how important voting is – I’ve loved writing about it. Even if the numbers are small when the post goes up I know that I’ve said something worth saying.

In the end I don’t think I actually am afraid that I will stop loving to write. It’s a part of me and has been for more of my life than it hasn’t.

The key now is getting back to the joy.

If you have any suggestions please let me know. I’d love to hear how you’ve regained your passion for the written word.

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