Monday, April 1, 2013

On Writing and Having Fun




Katherine Applegate

The truth is, you have to have fun with it. It is fun. You have to do it because you love it, and if you love it, the rest will come. I think people forget that. They get tied up in questions of "Will I be published?," and at the end of the day, it's just about words on paper. And that's the part we all love--most of the time.   
                 
– Katherine Applegate, 
on winning the 2013 Newbery for The One and Only Ivan
as quoted in Shelf Awareness January 29, 2013.         



Writers, what do you think? Is writing fun for you? Or do you tend to get caught up in the wishing-to-be-published blues?   


26 comments:

  1. I know it's for me because when I'm coming up with ideas and developing and writing the story, I feel alive. I feel like a person. I feel like me. I do get caught up on the blues part, but I think everyone does now and again. You have to keep reminding yourself why you are writing. Yes, having an agent and having a book in print would be awesome (I dream of it quite often), but if that's the only reason for doing it then you'll be unhappy. It will show through in your writing. Keep going, Joanne!

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    1. Thanks, Christine! That's wise advice. And I know exactly what you mean about feeling alive while I'm writing.

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  2. Writing is fun -- most of the time, at least after I revise several hundred times and what I've written FINALLY says what I meant for it to say. :-)

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    1. Ah yes, Barbara. Good point. Except I usually feel it's close but never quite there!

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  3. When I get to my writing, it's fun. Thinking about all the rest of it isn't always fun. So important to remember the fun part of it.

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    1. This is true, Natalie. The writing is what most of us are here for.

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  4. Writing is fun until I have to revise. I started out as a pantser so...
    But lately I'm noticing that I don't dislike revision as much. I have yet to have fun with it but it's a start. :)

    ~Akoss

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    1. Akoss, even Jerry Spinelli confided to me that he doesn't like revision! But it sounds as if you're on the right path.

      I've grown to love revision much more than writing the rough draft. It's so much fun to see the story deepen and grow into something else, like developing your own photos before digital came along.

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  5. I think Natalie hit the nail on the head. Right now I'm having trouble getting to it and thinking about it. Not much fun.

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    1. So, Rosi, once you're actually sitting down writing you're okay? Sometimes I get distracted by social media or home concerns and don't get to the writing when I should. But I love thinking about a story. Most of my story planning goes on in my head.

      Good luck to you and hope you get into the writing soon.

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  6. Writing is definitely fun when you push all that "other stuff" to the side. I think the writing is easier when you just write and don't worry about being published, getting an agent, selling books. I have to remind myself to take one step at a time! :)

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    1. So true, Jennifer. But sometimes it's hard to do!

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  7. I am happiest when I'm working on a story -- whether it's a first draft (even though I moan and complain about first drafts) or a revision. The time between writing -- brainstorming or flailing around trying to come up with an idea -- I usually suffer a bout of depression.

    So even when the pressure is on and my characters are rebelling and plot is in a snarl, I am happy to be writing.

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    1. Ha! Dianne, I moan about first drafts too and much prefer revision. But you're right, I'd still rather be writing than anything else.

      I'm sorry to hear that even published authors like you get depressed when you're between projects, though. Feel free to email me anytime.

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  8. It's definitely a combination of fun and hard work--but I find that usually the hardest work involves making the decision to put everything else aside and write. Once you get into your story, it's often surprising how easy (and fun!) that part is!

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    1. Excellent point, Faith. Once the story gets going, it really can be fun (that is, until I get stuck again; that's why I prefer revision to the rough draft).

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  9. What a great post! I definitely think writing is fun, but I do sometimes get caught up in the pressure I put on myself. :) Still most of the time I have a blast! I especially like drafting.
    ~Jess

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    1. Thanks, Jess! Good for you. Wish I liked drafting.

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  10. Both! Writing is fun, but it sure would be nice to get published. :o)

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    1. Yes it would, Janet! Indeed. Someday...

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  11. I'm sure it'd be fun to win the Newbery!

    But really, writing runs the whole gamut of emotions. Right now, in revision, it's slog. For me, it's in the dreaming up the ideas and characters that's the most fun. Each to his/her own.

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    1. Ha ha, Michael! Of course Katherine Applegate is having fun!

      So true about each of us having our own idea of what's fun about writing. Glad you love dreaming up ideas and characters. I love that part too, but actually writing the rough is really hard for me. Revision is where I get totally into it.

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  12. Some days writing is more fun than anything. Some days it just about kills me. I often step back to remember the joy it brought me as a child to get me through the funks : )

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    1. That's wise advice, Melissa! Thanks.

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  13. I think despite struggles, rejections, and so much revising and editing, writing will always be fun for me.

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YAY for comments! I read and appreciate each one and I always try to answer. All opinions welcome. Let's have a conversation.