Monday, February 28, 2011

Back to the beginning

Tonight, my sweet friend Bree reminded me of why I started writing.

I didn't begin my journey with dollar signs or Nebula's in my eyes.

I never saw my agenda based upon how many tours I could do or what superstar agent I'd managed to land.

I started writing for the pure joy of it. I started writing because I had to, because there were stories and characters who lived in my mind and demanded to be given breath and life.

But like so many of you, I'm sure, the years of education and experience have shifted my purpose. As of late, I've been writing to fit into a given standard. I've written to fall in line with what others insist is acceptable. In short, I haven't truly written for myself.

I don't blame anyone but myself. You see, I've found that when we begin to focus on the business of writing rather than the art of it, the result is, many times, stories that are only half imagined, that only realize their potential in the vaguest sense.

Now, I don't believe it's a bad thing to understand the way publishing works or what is "publishable." I'm not completely green; I do understand that books need to be sold. But I've become disheartened by the motivation for which I write. It bothers me immensely that I've put aside the joy of writing for the duty of it. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I wrote with raw, unabashed fervor, with the purpose of only writing a story I want to read.

As I told a friend of mine tonight, sometimes the best stories we write are the ones we keep hidden from the world.

So instead of setting word count goals for myself, my intentions have changed. Instead of making myself adhere to some certain genre requirement, I'm going to try to go back to my old love: pure, joyful writing.