One of my New Year’s commitments this January was to get back to fiction writing at least three days per week.
Due to illness, I didn’t.
Although I am down to revising the last half of the last chapter of my novel-in-progress, I felt so lousy I did not trust myself to do my best work.
Nonetheless, I am finally coming to accept, that for a time, chronic exhaustion is a partner in my life, therefore I need to get on with living, and writing, anyway.
A Visit with a Friend
One thing I did do right: while resting, I picked up an old writing book by a particularly inspiring author, Take Joy: A Writer’s Guide to Loving the Craft by Jane Yolen.
Yolen’s words fed me, floated me, excited me.
Last week, I finally got back to work on my novel, and it felt good!
In light of how Yolen inspired me, I thought I’d share some of her nourishing words with you.
“Chapter One” of Take Joy discusses the way some authors describe writing as a bloodsucking, agony-inducing practice. I have seen these claims in essays and blog posts, and they have always irritated me.
Yolen proposes a different attitude:
I suggest you learn to write not with blood and fear, but with joy.
It’s a personal choice.
Chapter One, page 2
Yolen reflects on how difficult it is to actually get published:
Chapter One, p. 5
All we can count on is the joy in the process of writing.
Uncovery, discovery, recovery are all part of the process.
So take joy behind publishing’s shadow. The joy in the process.
In conclusion, Yolen wishes readers:
…joyous flights in your own writing. Save the blood and pain for real life where tourniquets and ibuprofen can have some chance of helping.Chapter One, p. 12
Do not be afraid to grab hold of the experience with both hands and take joy.
Yolen’s guide reminded me that I love my work-in-progress. I have often spoken of it as a labor of love.
I also remembered that I love writing. When the writing is going well it feels like flying, laughing—a wild joy.
Thank you, Ms. Yolen, for these reminders!
How does writing nourish you? Which parts of writing bring you the greatest joy? What are you working on that you can’t hardly wait to get back to?
Please share your comments in the box below. Let’s encourage one another.
P.S. Read Yolen’s book. It will bring you joy.