An amazing day off work! You really need to try this!
I have decided to take this week off from work. Actually I decided that a while ago and put in for time off and here we are at the end of my first day off work this week. And let me tell you! You really need to try this! There is something wonderful about taking time off for no other reason than to have time with your family and to run amok with your wife. It is truly a great thing. While I will admit that there are a few projects that I plan on doing this week around the house and in writing, all of them will be done in their own relaxed time and ultimately are more because I will enjoy doing them rather than because they “need” to get done. How does any of this matter when it comes to writing? Let’s just ask a better question shall we. When was the last time you wrote something purely because you wanted to? And more specifically not because of a deadline, self imposed or otherwise?
I love to write. It is a passion that drives me. It occupies my brain and darn near forces me to put words to a page. I impose deadlines and goals to keep me focused and moving forward. I have word counts that must be maintained. And all of that is to get me to the end state of being a published author that can fill a bookshelf with his own written works. But you know what? Sometimes I forget to write just simply because I want to write. I don’t write a short little scene because it fancies my imagination right then and there. I write most times because I am striving to a goal of a finished draft on a novel. And that can sometimes overshadow the joy and awesomeness of writing just for the heck of it.
This week is all about writing for the heck of it. Actually this week is all about enjoying life and doing everything for the heck of it. For the joy of it. For the exhilaration of it. For the fun of it. Just simply because I can and I enjoy it. That is something that hopefully with my insane ramblings tonight will remind you to do. Do things for the fun of them. Write something just because it sounds fun. Do something that you normally do for some long term goal and do it because it is fun, because that is why you started doing it in the first place.
A great example of this is running. I run. And up until I recently got told that I have literally over used and worn out the inside of one of my knees I would run a minimum of three times a week. Each run would be a minimum of 5k. And each run was me pushing myself to see if I could run faster, further and better than the last time. But every once in a while you need to have a run because you love it. Get that zen state where your entire body is in the same rhythm. All that fills your head is the beat of your feet on the ground. That matches your breathing. And that matches your heart beat. If anything slowing down or stopping seem like complete foreign concepts. The run just flows through you and it is great. I would love to say all my runs were like that. But the ones that are I just love.
To the annoyance of my doctors I will always be a runner. I might do a elliptical machine more often now. I might cut down on my hills or my sprints. But I am going to run. And I am going to do it just to find that zen state. The same thing applies for me and writing. I write to improve my craft. I write to get to the end of a draft just to set it down for a month and then go back and revise. I write to get published. But I also write because I love that feeling of the words flowing out of my brain and onto the paper. I love the feel of a story as it unfolds in front of me without me even knowing where it is going until I write it. I love going back and seeing what I wrote in one sitting and thinking “Wow, I wrote that?”
So remember to write because you absolutely love it sometimes. There is nothing wrong with goals and deadlines and doing it because you need to. But remember every once in a while to do it because you love to. Those times will make the late night slog trying to make deadline before you editor kills you worth it. Or at least I think they will. I will let you know when I get an editor that gives me deadlines. Maybe soon. You never know.