Dale Carnegie once said, “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”

I love that.  It’s a reminder to me that if I am dragging my heels about something that I need to reframe it.  How can I make it a better experience?

Most of us are good at working hard.  We all know how to work more.  But I think it can be easy to lose sight of how to enjoy our work.

NaNoWriMo got like that about Week 3.  I was struggling after 30k words.  My plot had holes big enough to fly a spaceship through.  I was staying up later and later, and other times waking early to get those words in.  My kids were at the pool and I was typing away while slurping coffee.  Was I having fun?

I was suffering emotional highs and lows from the writing.  High because I had gotten so far.  Low because I had so much further to go.  Going back to read anything I had written previously (but reminding myself not to edit) was painful.

 

So before despairing too much more, I asked myself the following:

  1. Was I doing better today?

  2. Why was I doing this?

  3. How could I make it more fun?

By any objective measure, I was doing “better” than before because every day that I wrote, I was increasing my word count and working out my tiny writing muscles.

I had to remind myself that the reason I was giving up sleep and social life and reading for pleasure is because I wanted to recover a piece of my myself that I had suppressed for two decades.

The last part stumped me a bit.  Then I followed the NaNoSprints on Twitter.  And those were fun.  Writing prompt – NINJA.  Go!

Did matter there was not a ninja in my story? I just rolled with it.  And it worked.  I did find a way to incorporate it into a scene.  Maybe I cut it later, but for now, writing it was fun.  Another thing I started to do was look at movie stills to capture a mood or character look that I was aiming for.  Looking at movie shots? Definitely enjoyable.  Visually fun.

That was stimulating and refilled the creative well.  So I would suggest to you, if your writing is starting to pain you, it’s time to look outside of your normal routine for inspiration to inject some fun into your writing.