Friday, October 22, 2010

Recapturing the Joy of Writing by Sandra Byrd

Welcome to another Fortifying Friday—the day here at Seriously Write when we focus on the writer’s journey to publication, and offer encouragement as we go into the weekend. Today, author Sandra Byrd challenges and encourages us to embrace the joy we’ve discovered through writing. Enjoy!




Recapturing the Joy
of Writing

I'm going to start a blog for experienced writers by breaking a rule that I wouldn't let a novice writer get away with. I'm going to give you a dictionary definition of joy. Not just Webster's, but the Bible's, as well:

Joy: the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation; mirth, gladness, joy, gaiety, pleasure

I imagine that at one time you starting writing because you liked writing. You had lots of running through your mind. Maybe you were frequently distracted at inopportune moments by a thought you wanted to blog, a plot point you didn't want to forget, or a devotional that came straight from God's fingertip to your head and heart. You thought in similes, noticed all five senses. Delightful!

What happened?

Life. Perhaps a relentless stream of rejection letters locked your fingers. Fear about narrowing markets made you wonder if it was all worth it anyway. Anxiety over your thin writing resume stopped you from querying. Good news for a friend meant bad news for you. I'm here to tell you that you can recapture the joy of writing, and actually must, if you're to reach publishers are readers with your message. Here are some exercises to get you started:


What are four fun things you’d like to do, which bring you joy, and which have no connection at all, with your writing? Unless you’re on deadline, don’t write anything till you’ve done 2-3 of these fun things. Even if you ARE on deadline, do at least one in the next two weeks.

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No fun for the writer, no fun for the reader. Commit to play!


Write something for free every month as an act of kindness, using your gift solely for the benefit of others. Ideas? Can be letters of encouragement, a promo for a friend, a book review on a book you loved (but are not obligated to review), a memoir for your spouse, etc.

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Write in a new genre, or about new topics, even if you don’t plan to submit it, as an act of creativity. Usually write nonfiction? Write a free form chapter. Usually write fiction? Write a letter to the editor.

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Submit to markets you’ve been afraid to try as an act of creativity and faith. Where would you like to have a piece published but have been intimidated to query? Which agent would you like to query? How about a small, but meaningful, periodical?

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After you've spent some time fanning the flame, go through your files and read some of your old work. Do you still have the same spark as a “newlywed?”

You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Revelation 2:3-4

What motivated you then? What motivates you now? How can you get back that loving feeling?


And now, the hard part. A commitment. Write one down, print it out, and tell a friend. This week I commit to:




Sandra Byrd is a bestselling novelist of books for women and teens/tweens as well as a writing coach and mentor. Please visit her website at http://www.sandrabyrd.com/ to learn more about Sandra and her books as well as sign up for her e-postcard to keep in touch!

3 comments:

  1. Fabulous Fortifying Friday from my friend Sandra.

    Will utilize and commit! (and not to an institution either!!!)

    Thanks so much.

    Glad to know about this blog. Looks like a good one!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your kind comments, KC. And thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

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  3. "Recapturing the Joy of Writing." I will definitely be putting a few of these ideas into practice. I look forward to discovering how they spill over into other areas life. I love the thought of "that loving feeling"--and keeping it burning bright!
    Fantastic article! :)

    ReplyDelete

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