WRITING IS AWESOME

Saturday, October 21, 2017
The year isn't quite over, but it's quickly coming to a close. For me, November means NaNoWriMo and writing whenever possible, and December means reading and Christmas and trying to recover from the previous sleepless month (aka: regaining my sanity).

I've learned a lot about writing this year -- more so than any other year. I've learned about the world of publishing, the art of crafting a novel, my limits, how I work best, re-evaluating my WIPs and thinking about my next steps in this journey.


One of the most valuable lessons I learned was during Camp NaNoWriMo back in April. My words ran dry. My creative soul was tired, brain pushed to its max with all of my crazy ambitions. I was bored with my story, frustrated with my goals, and losing energy, so I didn't have much of a choice but to take a break. 

I wrote a post during that break: The Joy in Stress Free Writing, where I said that I would take writing slowly until I rediscovered that passion. I'm someone who is driven by conquering goals and challenges, so it felt weird to not have any of those hanging over my head and clogging my to-do list.

It's been five months since my writing break. Did I rediscover the enjoyment?! Did it help? Did it teach me anything??

Well, yes. It taught me two things in particular.

1. I can't stop writing.
I've tried gymnastics. I've tried playing the piano. I've tried swimming. I've tried ice skating. I've tried painting. <-- I enjoyed all of these activities for a certain amount of time, but eventually lost interest. 

Writing is a different story (<-- I think I just accidentally made a really lame pun). When I take a writing "break," I find myself doing some anyway just because I enjoy it so much. Even editing isn't quite as bad as it used to be. Now I've come to appreciate how I'm making my story better and dream about it being on the bookshelves one day. *happy sigh*

The month I took off in May showed me how hard it was for me to take a break.  Yes, I may have taken a break from my story, but my writer brain is always churning, always thinking about some future idea. 

2. I can't stop writing because I really, really, really like writing.
Like I said before, I didn't like taking a break, but it helped me rediscover the joy in writing.

Let me clarify before you read into that: I never stopped liking writing... but I did let the stress and the pressure to overachieve impact the enjoyment. There's magic in creating characters and worlds, and that had dwindled.

So I kept my goals smaller than normal, trying to avoid another burnout or having this become a reoccurring problem. And hey -- it worked! Instead of trying to finish a full round of edits for Camp NaNoWriMo, I only went for half of my novel. I didn't get as much done, but I also didn't end the month hating my novel. (always a good thing)

I've fully recovered from the burnout, and goodness, I've realized how much I really loke writing. I love creating worlds. I love penning stories that can transport the reader to another dimension. (unfortunately not literally. though that would be rather impressive if I could send readers to a warped time in space xD)

When I first started writing I wanted to become a published teen author. I still think that would be awesome, but I also realize that my chances of that happening are becoming slimmer. And I'm okay with that.

Even if I'm never published, I'll keep writing because I enjoy it. 
I enjoy the escape, the thrill, the community around stories. God's given me this ability and place to spew my creativity. (and don't worry -- even though I'm content with being unpublished... I'm still going to work as hard as I can to become an official author. :P) 

I don't even know what my point is for this post. Writing is awesome, guys. And it's important for me to keep checking in with myself: am I writing because it's become a responsibility -- another task to complete and wordcount to meet? Or because I truly enjoy it? It's incredibly easy to get wrapped up in the hustle.

So someday I'll be seventy years old, counting down the days until NaNoWriMo, writing my 50th novel or something crazy like that. I'll have a cupboard overflowing with an enormous assortment of coffee mugs and tea cups. I'll be the NaNo grandma -- writing because she can't stop. Writing because she enjoys it.

(now I'm giggling over that image. CAN YOU IMAGINE IF THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS? dude I want to be a cool writer grandma xD)

Anyway, thanks for reading my rambling post. "See" you next week with allll the October highlights! (and screaming about the fact that NaNoWriMo is SO SOON.)

<3,
katie grace

what did you learn about writing this year?

39 comments :

  1. NANO IS SO SOON AND I'M NOT READY.

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    1. RIGHT?!? I think I'm finally becoming ready... but I'm still nervous about it. xD There's still nine-ish more days to prepare! Go go go. xD

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  2. You made this great post into an epic post with the NaNo Grandma image. #perfection

    Also, I'm glad you rediscovered your passion for writing. As a person who went through similar things, I can attest to the power of a short break.

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    1. Ehehehe, thank you. xD

      Isn't it amazing? Weird how it can make a whole world of difference.

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  3. I love this so much! Writing IS awesome!!! It's wonderful you've rediscovered your passion. A lot of the time a break can be just what we need to rekindle our love for something :)

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    1. Exactly! I'm so glad I learned that. :D

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  4. Couldn't have said it better myself!

    I'm currently working on the WIP I have been procrastinating on for so long and have been pushing myself to finish it while reminding myself that it's just the 1st draft. Also, the thought of creating a novel in a month really encourages me to keep moving onwards!

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    1. YOU CAN DO THIS. I hope it continues to go amazingly for you. :D <3

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  5. Haha, loved reading this!! A Writer-Grandma would be super cool ;D

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  6. "The NaNo Grandma" - I'm not going to be able to stop laughing at that for awhile now xD. WE SHALL ALL BE EPIC NaNo GRANDMAS THAT WRITE 100K WORDS JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN. I hope NaNoWriMo 2017 goes smashingly for you!

    ~ Savannah | Scattered Scribblings

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    1. RIGHT!?? And by then I can be retired so I'll hypothetically have more time. Huzzah. xD

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  7. Now I wanna be a NaNo Grandma someday. #lifegoals

    I stopped writing my WIP because I got lost and didn't know what the heck I was doing cause I *cough* didn't plot *cough cough*. I'm not making the same mistake with my NaNoWriMo retelling: I plotted enough to have a vague idea of what we're going for, but not so much that every chapter is outlined. So I'm plantsing this year.

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    1. We can all be writer grandmas together. xD

      OOH GOOD FOR YOU. I've learned that having a rough outline makes editing a lot easier as well since you already have a vision for the story. I hope it works for you! :D

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    2. Yes, writer grandmas from all over the country!

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  8. That. Is a really amusing image. xD

    NaNo is so soon. o.o I am more unprepared than I have been in a long time... I don't need a plot, right? xP

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    1. Ehehe. Now I really want to make this happen, even if it's rather far off. :P

      PSH. PLOTS ARE OVERRATED. (Kidding. Please have a plot. Your future NaNo self will be endlessly grateful. :P)

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  9. Oh. My. Word.

    This literally JUST happened to me. I'm still in the middle of it. The novel I've been working on for two months has been stressful and not fun and sucking the joy out of my writing. There have been dozens of scary moments where I wondered if I suddenly didn't like writing anymore (it ended up being that I couldn't relate at all to my main character so I didn't enjoy writing about her. Lesson learned :P).

    But wow. I've taken some time off from writing and realized that I can't stop, won't ever stop, and don't care if I get published and become a best-seller or not -- though that would be awesome, I love writing anyway. It's a pursuit of joy now for me, not a stress-fest of "I must get published before I'm eighteen." Writing is just SO AWESOME.

    Anywho, I really related to this post and super needed to hear it <33

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    1. AH RIGHT?? Oh my gosh it comforts me so much that someone else knows the feeling! Do you think you'll go back to that same novel? Or move onto something else?

      Of course. Thanks for commenting, Audrey. <3

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    2. I'm currently torn about what to do :P I love the first act and the third act, but the second act (aka the ENTIRE middle of the book) just seems...boring. I'm at least going to set it aside until January while I work on a NaNo project.

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  10. OK LISTEN, the writer grandma is the legit best image ever. EVER. xD But you know what I can totally see you becoming that writer grandma. Because you are so passionate about what you do and it shines through everything you do.

    YOU LOVE WRITING IN A WAY NOT MANY PEOPLE DO and that's amazing <3 You keep on girl, your stories are going places...just watch. <333

    YOU HAVE A GREAT NANO KATIE GRACE <3 ROCK THIS ONE ;) xxx

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    1. Hehehe thank you, Anna. Oh my gracious you're so kind. I'M GLAD PEOPLE HAVE FAITH IN THIS WRITER GRANDMA. :P

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  11. Aww I love how this was a little "glimpse of Katie" post ^.^

    I think it's really important to step back and examine WHY you're doing something. That's actually a bit of a theme in the book I'm drafting right now. ;)

    Anyway! I'm pretty darn sure I'm going to be a writing grandma right along with you xD Which would honestly be the coolest thing EVER (no matter what the grandkids say).

    You are going to slay this NaNo!! :D <3

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    1. Aww. ^.^

      Ooh, really? Now I'm even more excited to read this novel of yours. xD

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  12. I love the thought of being an old lady who still writes! That is the best thing. I wonder how all of our stories will change by then? What will we write about? WILL WE STILL BLOG? GAH so many unanswered questions!

    Also:

    "When I take a writing "break," I find myself doing some anyway just because I enjoy it so much."

    ^ I totally relate to this! Even when I'm not writing a novel, I'm still writing. It's so much fun! I absolutely love your drive and honesty about writing. It can be so tough (but inspiring) at the same time. This post has me seriously stoked for NaNo! WOOT

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    1. RIGHT?! Like... I know I won't blog forever, but it's also weird to think of someday stopping. What will I do on Friday nights?? :P

      WOOHOO! We'll rock this NaNo. :D

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  13. Ahh I'm giggling so much imagining you a little old grandma counting down to NaNo. XD

    I just really love this post. It's rambly--like my thoughts are at the moment--but it's really encouraging too. And I /always/ need to be reminded that writing is for fun. Normally I'm fine and pretty chill, but sometimes I lose sight and then everything crashes and burns. >.<

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    1. Eheheh. So am I. I aspire to be THAT grandma. :P

      Yeah it wasn't the most well written post but that's what was on my mind, so. xD I feel like my mind always gets more rambly at the end of the year because I'm so caught up on remembering everything that has happened. *shrug*

      Yeaaah. That's never fun. xD

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  14. I learned that sometimes you can write a book jUST FOR YOURSELF WITHOUT THE IDEA THAT IT HAS TO BE PUBLISHING MATERIAL. So for NaNo (again sorry I told you this) I'm doing my Harry Potter fanfic plus a Frozen fanfic!

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    1. YES EXACTLY. It's a very freeing feeling. :)

      Ooh, I remember you mentioning the Harry Potter Fanfic but I don't remember you talking about the Frozen one? Awesome. :D

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  15. I like to set crazy high word goals with incredibly short deadlines, and then panic when I can't reach those goals, determine that I am not destined to be a writer, and get frustrated. XD Then I take a break from writing and realize that I adore it with all my heart and could never do anything else.

    What a life I lead. XD

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    1. SAME. Goodness it sounds like you just described me! You're not alone in that. :P

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  16. Love, love, love your insights in this article, Katie. I've been writing professionally for years now and wish I had come to the realizations regarding writing (a passion) and writing (a job) sooner. You seem to have a solid grasp on what works/doesn't work for you as a writer, and the wisdom to know how to push yourself without overdoing it. Bravo!

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    1. Thank you so much for you kind words, Joy! It's taken me awhile to get to this point, but I'm glad to have learned it. :D

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  17. Ah this is so beautiful, Katie.

    I love what you said about writing because it feels good, not necessarily with the aim of being published. That grandmother writer, passing down her books to her children and grandchildren who read and love them as much as she does - now that's a fabulous goal!

    The biggest lesson in writing I learned this year was in reading Julia Cameron's The Right to Write (highly, highly recommend). She wrote about how writing isn't about "making something up." It's about "listening, and naming what you hear." That spoke to me so much because if you look at writing that way, it takes the stress out of it. You don't have to worry about writing "good," you just listen and write what you hear.

    k.

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  18. YESSSSS. I totally agree! I think it would be impossible to get me to stop writing. Even when I have burnouts, I always come back to it. It's my passion. But yes, it's always good to take a break. Writers need them to stay creative. ;)

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  19. I've been experiencing the exhaustion you mention in terms of writing. I wonder about pushing through creative burnouts versus taking creative hiatuses. Sometimes it seems hard to tell what to push through and what to rest through. Thanks for sharing.

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  20. This is such a lovely post. <3 Thanks for making me think about why I love to write.

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  21. Oh, I love the image of being a grandma who still does Nanowrimo. I guess I honestly never went that far into the future to see what my writing might look like. Hmm.

    By the by, thanks for checking out my blog and commenting! :)

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