when creative writing isn’t fun anymore…..

Last week, as I finished my second play in as many weeks to send off to a competition in addition to sending off some poems and essays, I sat down and called me mother:

“writing these just wasn’t fun…..”

I was going to write today but my cat wouldn't let me

I was going to write today but my cat wouldn’t let me

An odd statement for me. I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember typing away awful stories on my mother’s Apple 2. I wrote two novels in high school which probably will never see the light of day because well it was fun.

But as I finished last week, I realized that I was so stressed with perfection and trying to give my work the best chance it had to win and/or be published, that there was absolutely nothing fun about it.

So to remedy that, I’m starting an online series of pure fluff. I might self-publish it when I am done (have to one day turn this hobby into a job one day) but I’m not putting any pressure on myself. It’s just going to be like I’m back in high school, writing to express myself and entertain others!

Now what is this project? As many of you know, I wrote a short piece, Pemberley High which re-images Jane Austin’s classic in a modern high school. It was a very short piece, 500 words or less. I’m going to expand on it and turn it into a novella. The first installment should be up tomorrow unless something drastic comes up.  I’m not sure yet, I’ll probably post it to my main page then archive it under a tab.

I hope you enjoy it my readers! It should be a fun project 🙂

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26 comments on “when creative writing isn’t fun anymore…..

  1. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to writing, too (not so much my crazy, cartoon-laden blog), so I get what you’re feeling. I put a lot of pressure on myself to try and get published. It’s always good to move onto a new project, especially one where you can honestly say, “I’m writing this for me!” 🙂 It’s revitalizing.

  2. It sounds like you’re moving in the right direction. The only time’s I’ve found myself not having fun with my work is when I’m putting too much pressure on myself. Whether it’s from keeping the story firmly adhered together, going through the editing process for the umpteenth time or worrying about any of the countless other things that a indie must, when I start feeling overwhelmed is when I know it’s time to step back.

    I challenged myself to take the NaNoWriMo challenge last year. I blew away the 50k wordcount, which was a huge win towards my upcoming novel, but I’ve found myself faltering over the edits. I haven’t had to rewrite anything (yet) but I have reworded many sections more times than I’d care to admit.

    As a result, January was a very dry month for me. I spent a lot of time writing in my notebook. I posted to my webseries when I could, but when it came to my book, I could only look at it in disgust.

    I wasn’t happy, but for slightly different reasons.

    I feel renewed, with this hiatus behind me, and am grateful for the time I spent away. Now, I look forward to translating my longhand into digital files and finally finishing the novel I started early last year.

    I hope that you are able to find that inner peace which seems to be eluding you and good luck with your chosen path! As was already mentioned, I do believe you are on to something. 🙂

  3. You wrote: “…I might self-publish it when I am done (have to one day turn this hobby into a job one day)…” and I say, No, you don’t. It’s not a hobby. It’s an undertaking. It’s a passion. It’s a vocation. Stamp collecting and model railroading are hobbies. Pemberley High may be a short story, or may be a novella. It may be done all at once or published online in bits and pieces…who cares? Write it, and savor the writing experience. The miracle of the internet, blogs, ebooks and POD print book publishing is that you can write it, someone is going to read it, and that in itself may be enough. Okay, it’d be a lot nicer if a major NYC trade book publisher came a callin’ with a big fat check in hand, but that may never happen. Or, it might. So, relish each part of the trip, and don’t just focus on a destination that you may arrive at…or may not. Van Gogh painted like a madman (well, he kinda was, wasn’t he?) day and night. Was Art his job? Or was it his passion…hell, his life. So, go ahead and Van Gogh that story…

  4. My friend Errol has some interesting things to say about perfectionism and creativity :D. I sometimes get that way with writing too, though, and sometimes yeah it’s great to have an outlet so you don’t feel stifled with more frustrating projects. Good luck!

  5. I completely relate. It is part of why I’m doing BUMP!, so that I can have fun with it and just get it out there and done before I harshly judge myself and talk myself out of it! You have to have fun doing it, especially if you are passionate about it! Do it! Love it! 😀

  6. Good luck with that. Writing can get stressful, if we take it too seriously, I suppose. I’ve NEVER taken myself, or my writing too seriously, so I can’t relate…
    Really appreciate the picture in the tank top 😀

  7. It can be stressful trying to refine a piece of rewriting to meet some some other entities standards. Sometimes you just have to fluff off a little bit to get you centered.

  8. I do this thing to myself where, even if I begin a project with the intention that it be for me and not the public, I look down one day, or up from the keyboard rather, and I find I’m totally bugging out over every little detail–or how every little detail will be received.

    I’ve gotten better about it, but I still unknowingly cross this line where “my” work becomes commercial in spirit. I keep trying to do what you’re doing–separating my fluff from my serious work. It’s both intriguing and discouraging how easily the lines blur.

    Thems the breaks I guess. You clearly have a stable creative process though, for all your output. I’m interested to see what form the personal project takes. 🙂

  9. I can relate to writing suddenly becoming a near nightmare, that is me at the moment. When a couple of my poems got published online, I was ecstatic, for a bit. But then the pressure to write more, my own need for perfection, my inner critic, and many other things washed over me and I was petrified. So, to ease this I started focusing more on my blog, which is to share with others but is more for myself as well, and not meant to undergo academic or critical scrutiny. So, I wish you luck in your new endeavor!

  10. This is what stuff like NaNoWriMos is for – getting people to write without stopping every five seconds, re-evaluating all of your work as ‘garbage’ and starting again. Having a specific goal, like writing for your blog, should motivate you to actually get it done.

  11. Writing always seems to be a need for me, so rarely fun anymore. Perhaps age is a factor? More and more I feel like… well, I don’t know. But if you can find a fun project, by all means blog it out.

  12. Your novella sounds wonderful (I love Jane Austen). Write from the heart. It’s all about expression. Great post.

  13. I’d imagine It’s very much like falling in love. Yearn for it, and Eros laughs. Curse at it, and Eros laughs. Walk away from it, and Eros laughs—that ‘Daimon’ creates the mischievously wonderful occasion always on his own time and terms.

  14. Now, that is a lovely cat on your lap.

    I wish I had finished my novel in high school (my first one, anyway). I have yet to finish one. And, that aggravates me.

    I’ll say more when I get more time.

  15. One quick thing, though, I think the fun will return to just about any piece we write if we get adequate input from friends. And, not just pleasant, supportive words but real, genuine response, including what makes sense, what doesn’t, what excited them, etc. That can breathe new life into what we toss to the cobwebs or frustrated corner. I am still looking for input from family, sadly.

  16. Sounds like you are a right path! I just read your excerpt and it’s so fun 🙂 Keep at it, and thank you for stopping by blog, I will add you to my follow list so I can keep up on your story!

  17. Oh, I know what you mean! I constantly experience performance anxiety! I feel so disappointed when publishers turn me down saying I am old-fashioned! I feel like a bad writer! But darn them! My writing is about love and expression! Not about money or what is modern today! 🙂 I want to touch people’s lives with my writing, and I don’t need some posh publisher to do so 🙂 You keep writing for you! That is important!

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