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:
Was I doing better today?
Why was I doing this?
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.