05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Art of Writing and Living With No Regrets

What works for me?
Quiet, home alone time
Time with another writer who is also working on her WIP – taking breaks and sharing progress
Time to mull, think, walk around the block if needed to sort out what happens next
Something to drink (tea, water, seltzer water)
Something to nibble on (nuts or if things are going badly, chocolate)

What doesn’t work for me?
Writing at a coffee shop or any place in public
List of ‘to do’s’ that really do need to be done
Rushed – words like ‘must’ ‘ought to’ ‘have to’ swirling through my brain
‘Pressure’ which is different than ‘Anticipation’

Bottom line I want:
An eagerness to sit down and write
Accomplishment at getting just the right word to convey what is going on
Anticipation and wonder at the story unfolding before me
An environment that invites me to write.
Supports (something to drink, to nibble on and most important – time).
But above everything else, if it isn’t fun, if I don’t experience joy in the process, it isn’t time for me to write.

That may seem ridiculous to some but for me, albeit my goal is to be published, the journey is of equal or maybe even greater importance. If I’m not enjoying the process, the journey of writing isn’t worth it. Life is too short to spend it anxious, depressed, frustrated, overwhelmed, etc. etc. etc when I can make that different.

Yes, I can make it different. I can and do use my mind to create the joy and anticipation I need to sit down and write. What tricks of the trade do you use to find joy in your writing? To know that even if you are never published you will regret not one minute of the journey?

You can read first chapters of my first three novels at

© Judith Ashley, 2011. All rights reserved.


Diana Mcc. said...

Boy, Judith, what works for you and what doesn't work for you sounds like you were writing about ME!!! LOL. One other thing to inspire me would be listening to music to get me motivated. Celtic when I am working on my historical and contemporary music for my Romantic Suspense. Just when I get stuck and need a little extra brain storming/motivation. Great Blog!!

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks, Diana.

Sarah Raplee said...

I so agree that it's the journey more than the destination. Of course, a little compensation along the way would be icing on the cake!

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by, Michele. Life is sweeter when time is taken to appreciate it.

Judith Ashley said...

Icing is good! Compensation is great! Keeping the faith that it will happen is part of the journey I think.

Tam Linsey said...

I actually believe in the "must." I MUST write. If I don't treat it like a job, I won't ever get to call it one. That doesn't mean I can't like it. I love writing. But sometimes even what we love can be a chore.
For instance, I love gardening, but when the weeds overwhelm it, I'm not happy, and I MUST find time to clear them out, even if it is raining.
It is the same with writing. Some day (soon!) I will have deadlines and people with expectations. So I figure if I train myself now to write despite things not "working" for me, I will be better prepared for my future as a published author.
But your list does sound like a perfect situation. I seek days like that as often as possible.

Judith Ashley said...

You make a good point, Tam. When we are writing to deadlines there will be days when it isn't as easy as it is on other days.
I ascribe to the concept that when something isn't to my liking, I can change my perspective thereby shifting to a more positive place.
And, you are right, that is my ideal---during NaNo I write every day regardless because that is my commitment to myself and my story.

Hope to see you this year at Emerald City!