Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Romance Your Writing

As every passionate romance matures, the rush, the anticipation, the willingness to not see any faults wanes. You still love writing, still pour yourself into it, but conflicts and imperfections have sprung.

How can we keep the passion for writing strong when countless adversities pummel our motivation? For writers actively pursuing publication, there are forces working to deny our dream. Some are outside and some are within us.

- Criticism from peers, contest judges, agents, or editors of our writing.
- Criticism from friends and family of the time we spend writing
- Self-criticism: Will I ever be good enough?
- Envy: Why does she have what I want but I don't?
- Entitlement: I deserve to be published.
- Sloth: I don't feel like writing today.
- Procrastination: I'll write later.
- Fast pace of life: I don't have time to go to Billy's recital AND write my pages.
- Too much technology: I'll just pop in on Facebook--for a second.
- Too little technology: The only computer is in the basement, it's a decade old, and I have no access to the Internet.
- Time, always time!

This list could go on for days. None of us write in ideal conditions. All of us wrestle at least one of these issues, some of us may wrestle all of them!

So how do we keep the romance with your writing alive? I don't have all the answers, but I do have a short list of things that work.

1. Remind yourself what you love about writing. Write the list down and refer to it often.

2. Make the experience as pleasant as possible. Have a favorite beverage nearby. Stock your writing area with any little item you find vital to writing. For me, I have to have little notepads and pens. I like to scribble notes.

3. Make regular dates to write. Any relationship will fizzle if we don't put effort into it. Give, give often, and give regularly to your writing relationship.

4. Dream. Don't let your hopes and dreams disappear because your current work has been criticized or you're taking twice as long to finish a first draft than you expected. Don't forget to dream of your future as a published author. I know that dream may seem very far away, maybe even impossible. But it isn't. Nothing's impossible.

Join me on Friday when we'll create our "perfect" date with writing!


  1. Great ideas to keep inspired and romantically charged with our passion. Sometimes I'll read over my work and feel like I've been slapped in the face. Other times, when I've nailed a line or a chapter, I feel like I'm being kissed for the first time.

    I like talking about writing with others who enjoy it. Just like when you fall in love for the first time and you can't stop talking about the guy...that's how it gets w/ me. Sometimes I have to watch it and put a lid on it so I don't blabber on...and on...

    ~ Wendy

  2. Great tips, Jill! Even though we have to committ to our writing and do it rain or shine (just like marriage!), we definitely can work on making it a joy and not a chore!

  3. Great advice, Jill. It is a commitment, definitely, and one I couldn't imagine not having in my life!

  4. I needed this post Jill. I've been feeling the romance fizzling. Pushing myself to meet the deadline to finish the project is making it feel more like a chore.

  5. Timely post! The longer I go on, the more I need help romancing. I mentioned on another blog what I'm about to say here--must be on the brain! It's getting harder to spend so much time on writing because it feels so self-indulgant. There are a thousand other things I could/should be doing, and when I pound away at the keyboard it feels like I should be doing something else. Ugh. Can't wait to get past that!

  6. For me, breaking my pages up into small hourly goals helps. I say, "Okay, I'm going to write X number of pages this hour (or half hour) and I CANNOT leave this seat until I've accomplished that." Something about not having a tangible goal just makes the whole task of writing daunting to me.

  7. Great list. Having stock nearby is smart. any distraction avoided is good. :O)

  8. GREAT tips. I really like the beverage one and am going down to put on the tea right now.

    This blog is always right on with what I need.


  9. Good morning!

    Wendy: There's nothing like talking shop with fellow writers! And it gives my poor hubby a break from hearing about it! :)

    Jody: Somedays it's just going to feel like a chore, and that's okay. Most days it won't!

    Joanne: It's one of my favorite commitments!

    Tamika: I know how you feel. It's hard to keep our motivation and spirits up day after day, but we can if we try!

    Steph: That's a great tip. Seeing tangible results every day is a great motivator!

    Diane: I just realized my mini-egg stash is still downstairs. Must bring it up--stat!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  10. Patti: Go get a beverage for me too!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  11. What a great post! There's always going to be someone, somewhere that has what you want. This I have learned.

    But that doesn't mean there's not room for me too. I need to work hard, keep trying, and not let those things you listed get in my way.

    Thanks for a great post!

  12. Elana: Ain't that the truth. There's room for all!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  13. Great tips to keep us going! I need to set up my writing space and have stock nearby. That will really help.

  14. Excellent post Jill! I love how you compare it to a romance. Good tips too. :-)

  15. I love your list, Jill. You are so wise. Thanks for always encouraging us,

  16. Kara: Definitely! It's just one more way to make your writing legitimate in your eyes.

    Jessica: Thanks! How's your romance coming along?

    Jen: Wise? Me? Ha--laughing! You're a sweetheart!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  17. Lovely post today. As with anything, the harder you work to achieve something, the sweeter it is when you finally attain it. :)

  18. Hi Jill -

    Great post! You've inspired me once again. Thanks.

    Susan :)

  19. What an excellent post! I have struggled with almost every thing on that list at one time or another! And I love the idea of making a date with writing! And date often!!!! Excellent tip!!!!

  20. Jill super post. It is so hard to stay focused when you aren't feeling the successful. I try and remember all the things I've learned over the past year and a half....I consider myself in the university of writing and publishing. I look forward to graduating to an agent or a contract, but am enjoying the lessons I'm learning along the way. I hope you are too. :)

  21. Another great post, Jill. I love the part where you remind all of us to keep dreaming. I think sometimes as writers it's tempting to prepare yourself for disappointment rather than hope for the best. But really, what's the point of writing if you don't have hopes and dreams?

    AND we finally commented on the amazing award you gave us. Sorry we're so late! We're so behind! Thank you for all of your thought provoking posts and for being such a great blog friend. Whenever we visit your blog we always leave just a tiny bit wiser.

  22. I know it sounds corny, but give me a Diet Pepsi and my Dove Dark Chocolate and I'm in the mood to write!

  23. Loving all these comments! I really appreciate you coming by and sharing.


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