Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How Much Do You LOVE Your Writing?

I'd been away from my latest and greatest first draft for a few days. I know better, really, I do. When I spend more than three or four days away from a first draft, I convince myself it's the worst thing ever written. And then I stare at the laptop, force my finger to press the on button, and try to ignore the panic rushing through me as I wait for the file to load.

The first thing I do is re-read the previous day's work to make sure I'm writing a natural continuity. Imagine my delight when I begin reading, expecting to want to claw my eyes out, and instead get sucked into the drama!

Those of you who read my meltdown of doubts will know I'm a terrific exaggerator. So it will come as no surprise I'm equally grandiose on a good day in first-draft-land. I never feel this way when revising, probably because the book spins around my head so much I can't tell if it's good, bad, or "eh." So, I only ride the escalator of I-love-this-book when I'm writing the first draft. Let's take a peek.

Character names have been changed to protect nothing.

In my head on a superwoman day:

This line rocks! It's hilarious--Betsy cracks me up! I'd never say that, but she just did. And John? Oooo--he does NOT like it at all! Whoo-ee! Tough turkeys, buddy.

A little further into the book...

Doggone you Betsy. Sniff, sniff. Why did you tell him that? Don't you know he never intended to hurt you? Can't you see past your own insecurity? Where's a Kleenex? I need a Kleenex! Betsy!!!

Still further in...

Just go up and kiss her John. Grab her and kiss her. She's only yelling at you because she's scared. Man up! Don't you dare walk away. Don't you dare!!

Back to reality.

I'd be lying if I said I write only for myself. I don't. I write according to a set of guidelines for the publisher I'm targeting. But I always write from the heart. My books fit the guidelines and it's no chore to conform. I love--dare I say it--adore my books!

Are they technically perfect? Far from it! Are they Pulitzer contenders? No way! Do I have miles to go before I can say the writing is top-notch? You betcha!

And you know what? I still love them.

What about you? Do you love your books? Does your writing suck you in? What do you love about your writing? Don't be shy! I'd love to hear from you.


Write Already! It's Wednesday!


  1. Great post! And FUNNY!!!! I too, go back and forth between hating and loving my WIP. Ah, the insecurities of a writer. I know mine is terrible. First draft of the first attempt at has to be bad, right??? (Please say yes!) lol

    p.s. Jump over to my blog today...I mentioned you!

  2. I'm so much like Sherrinda... a litte bipolar when it comes to my relationship with my books. Somedays I think they're the best thing since sliced bread (sorry for the cliche here folks) and others I think they are equivalent to a pile of burning dog poo on my front porch.

  3. Man up! Love it! Okay, I will say I LOVE MY CHARACTERS. I do. I love them and I don't like leaving them. Even from my short stories. I think about them after I'm done (which maybe means I'm not done)...but anyway...that is what I love most...getting to know my peeps.
    ~ Wendy

  4. There's always something in the story that I love. And, for the most part, I love it the entire time I'm writing it. Then comes the revision process. I have a love-hate relationship with it then. And then when it's done--or as finished as I could ever make it--wow!

  5. I'm totally bipolar with my writing.
    Somedays I'm a total genius and other days I wonder why I even bother. LOL!

  6. That was so funny, Jill! It's wonderful that you love your writing. I do, too, on most days. It's hard to tell as I am plodding through yet another page, one by one until I get to the end. But when I read it back through, I am draw in and it makes all the effort totally worth it.

  7. You are hilarious, Jill! Even though I love my story to some extent, I don't want to love it too much for two reasons. One, I want to be able to take a step back and see what it's really like--be as objective as possible (which is super hard!). Two, I want to be flexible with anything I may need to change in the future--and from what I've heard, editors often ask us to rewrite a lot. If I'm too in love, I may not be able to let go of part of my story.

    So, often I find myself writing too critically, perhaps not giving myself enough credit!

  8. Too funny!

    I love my books. They are like my children, in that they don't always behave the way I'd like, but they are precious to me no matter what.

    Some days I'm writing dreck, some days the prose flows.

    I think if you're not in love with your work, it will show. Why should a reader love your stories if you don't?

  9. I DO love my stories. Sometimes when I'm bored or need a pick-me-up I'll go to a specific scene in one of my manuscripts and just read it.

    And I am finally starting to enjoy revising them to make them as quirky and intelligent as they want to be.

  10. Love the picture :)

    I must confess I love my characters, too. It makes the work more fun, doesn't it???

  11. Hello everyone! I'm sorry I've been MIA for the past several days--outside commitments. Boy, am I ready for next week!

    Sherrinda: I know all about those insecurities and may even be creating new ones--ha! And no, the first draft of the first attempt at writing does not have to be bad, silly!

    Katie: Yep. Me too. I believe in chocolate therapy.

    Wendy: I know. I love my characters too. I think they're such interesting people--I wish I could meet them for real!

    Danyelle: Oh, I know. I'm never completely satisfied, but I have to walk away and start something new at some point.

    Jennifer: There's definitely a grandiose hi-lo thing with writing!

    Cindy: I know what you mean. I'll write a few chapters and feel as if I'm just pushing the plot along, but after I read it I'll realize it's better than I thought. That's a good feeling.

    Jody: Good point. I'm never married to the story so much I can't change it. I figure my books could go any number of ways anyhow, what's the big deal if they take path B instead of path A?

    Erica: Those crazy characters have a mind of their own, don't they? Just like kids, you never quite know what's going to pop out of their mouths!

    Karin: I used to hate revising. Now, it's like putting together a puzzle. I enjoy the challenge.

    Tess: Right on! Why do it if it doesn't bring joy?

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  12. It depends on the day if I love my writing or not. And to be honest, it depends on the day whether or not I like to read certain books, too. I always overthink things and get myself down, but after a break sometimes I fall in love again...

    Overall, though, I do love my writing. Just in brief tiny stints. :)

  13. I'm so in love with my novel's. Is that even fair to the rest of my life? lol!

  14. LOL Love your voice:)
    I sometimes love my work and other times I cringe. But when I do, like you, I cry and sigh and get so caught up in it I love it!

  15. Lady Glamis: I have a rule. If you're going to get down on your writing, you have to get just as up about it too!

    T. Anne: I know! How can I be in love with people who don't even exist?

    Terri: One of life's great pleasures is getting caught up in your work. Thanks!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  16. This might be my favorite post of yours! made me laugh too! nice one!

  17. Jill:
    You are a hoot! Thanks for the peek into your world.

    I love my WIP, even though it's coming along really sloooooow, because I am having to spend so much time editing my first book, which needs more band-aids and splints and surgery than i expected. So, I'm sick of it. Occasionally a line will pop out at me that I think is inspired, but usually I'm in wiggy land.

  18. Amber J: Hey! It's nice to hear from you. I'm putting up a series next week about starting a blog--I hope you think about it. I know you'd be great! I get dibs on becoming your first follower if you do!

    Jeannette: Oh, those band-aids. If only they could cover the glaring errors I make! Do you have them? Send them over if you do!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  19. Thanks Jill! I have a blog, but its more random thought processes...I do hope to narrow it down. I have a passion for photogrpahy and writing all wrapped up! So... I am aiming to do both! I look forward to your series... you might convince me yet. I definitely tend to get a little "shy" about my writing :) Time to break free of that I guess!


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