Thursday, July 28, 2011

Don't Lose the Magic


When I was a little girl there was nothing I loved more than curling up on the couch with a good book. And when I wasn't reading, I'd literally spend hours just daydreaming my own fantastic tales that usually involved a hero suspiciously like me sucked into various fantasy worlds of my own making. I wrote my first short story at the age of seven. It wasn't like I had a horrible childhood I needed to escape from or anything. It just plain made me happy.


So it doesn't seem all that surprising that I ended up coming full circle. I suppose looking at it, becoming a writer was inevitable. Of course now that I have claimed it as a profession I do/have done more than just write. I also blog and tweet (what some call a social media platform), query and submit, critique and accept critique, attend conferences and workshops, and so on. 


I don't often talk about the negative sides of writing. I get it though. Sometimes writing gets hard. It's a long, stumbly kind of road sometimes - okay most of the time. There are *gasp* inevitable rejections. And despite the overwhelmingly positive attitude of this community, I know that psychologically those hurtful moments, even few and far between, stick to us in a way a million compliments never could. 


The seven year old me wouldn't understand any of that of course. And that's my point. I write because I love that magical feeling. The same one that I had when I used to imagine the day away. I write in the hopes that I will touch someone else's life the way those authors touched mine. And ultimately that's what matters, that's why I do it, and that's why I will continue. 


So friends, if you find yourself getting down for one reason or another, remind yourself why you did this to begin with. And then ask yourself if your life would be the same without it. If like me, the answer is a big fat "NO!" then don't quit. Keep doing it. Because the negative will pass. But the magic will always be there waiting.
photo credit

29 comments:

  1. Ah, you just wrote my own story. (well, I started writing at 10. but close enough).

    Good point about our kid-self not understanding the sting of the rejections, just writing for the love of it!

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  2. I love this post...it is so important to remind ourselves WHY we starting this little journey to begin with. THANKS for that!

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  3. Margo - :D I had a feeling I wasn't the only one!

    Christine - Thank YOU for commenting. I'm glad you agree that it's important to remember.

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  4. Yes, the negative passes, thankfully. And the positive times we have to remember.

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  5. Thank you for the reminder, Lisa!

    We can NEVER forget the magical feeling that brought us to write in the first place....and THAT'S what's always going to matter. I've found that if I come back to my 'center', put myself in a bubble with the music blaring in my ears and allow the 9yr-old within me to break free and run wild with imagination, then all the bad things fade away and I've found the magic and fun in writing again.

    My 9yr-old self didn't start writing to get published, make money, much less to get critiqued or rejected. I started writing as a means of escape from my everyday surroundings....my ultimate freedom, so-to-speak.

    It's important to be reminded of that. Thank you again! :)

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  6. Ooh, I love this! I think we would have been great friends as kids. :) I was a lot the same, reading at writing constantly and daydreaming whenever I wasn't. The reason I keep writing is the same, too. I love the magic of getting lost in a new world, and I love the magic of creating that world.

    Thanks for sharing this uplifting reminder that writing is about fun and magic!

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  7. So beautifully expressed, not to mention (although that's exactly what I'm doing) true. Thanks for this important reminder.

    Also, I have no idea how I missed that UPS charter member avatar before, but it's also a good reminder--to giggle, and not take things so seriously!

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  8. Oh, wonderful post, Lisa! You're so right, the magic is always there. :) I didn't write or read much as a kid, but I imagined a whole lot. That's pretty much what I spent the whole time doing. :)

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  9. Lisa, reading this post gave me chills. It's just what I needed to hear today.

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  10. Love this advice, Lisa! :) Writing is all about the magic.

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  11. Very well said hon. It's all about the wonder, magic, the stories, and the characters. It makes us happy and that's why we do it. :)

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  12. You've been hacking my emails with my first reader, haven't you?

    I just sent her a desparation plea and of course she was supportive. But could I bare to look at her latest critique?

    The pink comment boxes, red strike-throughs and yellow hi-lites plunge straight into my heart. Haven't I learned anything from her last bout of suggestions? I'm not sure I can take this again.

    But, OK, maybe just a peek at the first couple. Yea, I get that and it's just what the story needs. And that one, well I really did consider that change last night, but didn't trust myself. Wait...really? #8 is a positive comment. Didn't see that one coming.

    I've got to get through these great ideas and see which ones I like best and do the most for my WIP, create something around the fixes she's suggested and get this thing moving.

    Man I love this stuff. There's no way I could ever live without it.

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  13. Yes! This is all so true. All the highs and lows are so worth it.

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  14. This is a great post, Lisa, and so are the comments. Especially it's a great reminder as well to those of us - ME - that while folks people ask for and want the critique, probably more often they need to hear what's right with what they write, right? Sometimes, that's all that's left. Thanks.

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  15. Very true Lisa,
    I write because it makes me happy.
    Telling a story is something that makes me happy. If I can make people laugh, all the better.

    I didn't need 'escape' either, but when I found it, hey, I had LOADS of fun because it is good fun.

    Nothing makes me roll my eyes more than 'well meaning' people saying 'put down the fantasy, pick up reality'.

    A great big 'PHTHSLKDKLJHERGJJDF PFPFPFPFLLL" to them. With dribble.

    Leave me to my fun. It's fun!

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  16. Awwww you guys!!! I've been away all day, so I just got to read most of your amazing comments, and the smile on my face just grew bigger and bigger with each one. Thank you all so much! :D

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  17. Wonderfully said, Lisa. Glad you kept dreaming :)

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  18. So true, we all go through the doldrums of rejections. I'm overdue some publishing highs now I reckon. LOL! :O)

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  19. Jeff and Gene - Thank you!

    Madeleine - Here here!!

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  20. I know the path of which you speak. When all is said and done with the business, social platforming, and rejections, we writers have our own stories to disappear into. And in the end, that is enough for me.

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  21. I couldn't imagine not writing fiction and living in my happy world, which comes from dreaming up stories. :D

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  22. I love this! I agree with you about the magic of stories. It's what keeps me reading and writing. :)

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  23. Beautiful! I need to tack a big sign on my wall: YOU LOVE THIS. So I can keep remembering. :)

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  24. There's just something so magical about getting caught up in a world of your own creation, especially when others can tap into your inner world by reading your outer words. And you're right, Lisa, delving back into those words/worlds is what keeps the bad point of writing down. :-)

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  25. You have a fabulous blog! I want to award you with one of my homemade awards: Beautiful Mommy Writer Blog Award for all the hard work you do!

    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra

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  26. Ditto Margo (in the 1st comment): you just wrote my own story. I wrote my first story when I was seven also. It was one paragraph long and involved a bear getting chased around by some bees. My second story was about ghostbusters.

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  27. A perfect post for me today! I had forgotten the joy of the process for all kinds of reasons, but not anymore. Took a trip away--two actually this summer--and discovered I still love to write. For me, it's having enough sense to give myself time to recharge.

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