The beginning of a new year signals a chance to reflect on the past and to give pause to the journey you’re on.

I write every day. I can’t imagine the day when I don’t. It’s a necessary part of who I am. But in looking back over the past year, I realized something was missing in my life. My conclusion – the joy of what I was doing was gone. It hit me like a blow to the belly.

Would I stop writing? Noooo. But would I change how I was doing it? Yes!

In running the Launching A Star Contest (a 12-month a year project), participating in a Fast Draft, driving myself to work, work, work, I left behind the very soul-satisfying reason I love to write. It is to let the creative juices flow, to get pleasure out of my characters and the situations good and bad that I place them in.

So, I stopped writing for a couple of weeks, concentrated on my growing family and have begun a new routine of slowing down and having fun. I’m working on projects I’m excited about and the joy is coming back.

Do you ever feel the need to stop grinding out work and playing with it instead? If so, I can tell you that I’ve discovered it makes a world of difference.

I’m wishing you all success and a HAPPY Writing New Year!

13 comments

  1. Beth Trissel // January 17, 2012 at 11:07 AM  

    I totally relate, Judy. You have worded very well my same struggles and conclusions. We must keep each other posted.

  2. Nightingale // January 17, 2012 at 11:10 AM  

    I wrote one book strictly for me. And it is the first print book I'll have published. I could use your advice and concentrate more on my life than that of my characters and maybe, as you said, the joy would come back.

  3. Mary Marvella // January 17, 2012 at 12:48 PM  

    I'm with you ladies! I started writing for fun. I loved my stories and my characters. Some of the things I loved have been analyzed to death. I also need to write for myself more while I deal with financial issues. We all have them or health issues or family issues.

    Steal back the joy!

  4. Judy // January 17, 2012 at 12:54 PM  

    Thanks, Beth. I attended a children's writers conference recently and I said to my husband, "I'm so happy!" It was a big change...

  5. Judy // January 17, 2012 at 12:54 PM  

    Linda, I think you did exactly the right thing by writing a book for yourself. Good luck with it! I'm so excited for you!

  6. Judy // January 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM  

    Mary, you go, girl! I see how much fun you're having...Hoping those awful old financial problems disappear. Good luck with your books!

  7. Pamela Varnado // January 17, 2012 at 4:49 PM  

    Judy, while I understand your need to slow down and enjoy the process of writing more, I admire anyone who writes every day. In the past I allowed everyone else's problems to slow me down, then I tended to berate myself for not writing. Now, I try to journal every day, even if I don't work on my stories. I’m doing something.

  8. Mary Ricksen // January 17, 2012 at 5:33 PM  

    I hear you Linda! We have to find the focus...
    And there is nothing like a conference and being with your author friends to give you a boost!

  9. Barbara Monajem // January 17, 2012 at 6:06 PM  

    I don't write every day, because that stops my creative juices from flowing. I try to write at least 5 days a week, but if my brain wants to rest for longer, I let it. Otherwise I quickly end up writing nothing at all. :(

  10. Judy // January 18, 2012 at 8:11 AM  

    I write every day but I don't push myself so much. I took a break over the holidays because we were traveling but I get grumpy if I can't write...LOL

  11. Patrice // January 18, 2012 at 2:08 PM  

    I agree that sometimes the joy goes out the window and you have to reach out and grab it back. I'm doing another Candy Bar book and it's so much fun - and easy to write. Love, love it. Good luck to you.

  12. Mary Marvella // January 19, 2012 at 11:20 PM  

    Judy, I appreciate your comment. I have been tutoring 6-7 days a week lately. Since that could change without warning, I am NOT complaining. I am grateful and greedy. It does mean I forget stuff, like that I was guest blogging 2 places in one day last week. I had an oh, crap moment tonight and rushed over to the blog to make a comment. Needless to say I did no promoting.
    BAD MARY!

  13. Autumn Jordon // January 20, 2012 at 10:00 AM  

    Judy, I know exactly where you're coming from. With the publishing world in such a turmoil, it has left me wondering which direction to take. I decided to write what I love because I love it and it will work out.