Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

JULIE ANNE LINDSEY

My guest today is Julie Anne Lindsey who writes a great blog--Musings from the Slush Pile. I enjoy her writing tips and insights. Welcome to Vintage Vonnie, Julie. 

Is Writing Your Joy?
  
     Of course, I don’t expect writing to be your one and only joy, but is it still a joy? I think writers begin writing in a frenzy of excitement and joy and emotion. We daydream of conversations between our hero and heroine. We doodle grimaces on napkins while we think of our antagonist and his wily ways. I can personally attest to losing days worth of sleep in the name of writing. I’ve spent countless hours contriving events to break my beloved MCs heart, only to shed tears along with her as it unfolds, then hoot aloud in victory when she overcomes. I mean, when true love conquers all, good wins the battle, and my broken character stands tall and confident once again, I am instantly seven-years-old, spinning in my mother’s garden, face to the brilliant sun, arms out in the breeze and joy-filled beyond the constraint of human words. 
     And then there’s what’s happening now.
     Today, I finished reading my tenth novel in as many days, and though reading is many things, including therapeutic and researchy and entertaining, today I realized I was hiding. I’ve been hiding from writing, completely avoiding the very thing that brings me joy. Why would a writer ever do that? There are probably a myriad of reasons, but mine was fear and paralysis.
     Writing, blogging, and social networking, in the name of publication – or the dream and hope of publication, has rendered me wordless, and I’ve been avoiding my joy. Questions are mounted in my mind today, and I can’t answer them. What should I write now? I have a manuscript out with an agent. But what now? Do I begin a sequel to something without a contract? That seems silly. Should I work on one of several WIPs I love, but stopped for various reasons? Do I work on the YA mystery I love? My previous work wasn’t YA. Am I limited to women’s fiction now?
     I reason that being unpublished makes me unbranded and free, but that freedom comes with paralysis for me. I have no idea where to go from here, and this is where my initial question comes in.  Where’s the joy?
     Well, I love to write, so I need to write, and this is the advice I’m offering to anyone else who feels a little paralyzed in their writing joy. Write what you love because you love it. Write for the joy it brings you and nothing more. Cuddle it and polish it and send it off with all the love you can because it is an extension of you, a piece of your heart, your hard work, and a show of your creativity. After all, wouldn’t a writer writing without joy be like a marriage without love? Bland. Empty. A void.
     Now, I’m taking my own advice. I’ve shared my paralysis with you and I’m headed back to the YA Mystery which had me smiling before I gave into the “What ifs” of this industry and walked away from her. I’m putting down my library books and picking up MY book.
     Writing is my joy, my release, my escape, and today I’m reclaiming it as exactly that.
~~ Julie Lindsey

Bio: Julie Anne Lindsey is a Midwestern wife, a homeschooling mother of 3, and an all around caffeine addict. She’s also an unpublished author blogging her journey to publication at Musings from the Slush Pile, (http://blog.juliealindsey.com/)where she shares writing tips, author interviews, personal experience, and opening chapters from her works.

19 comments:

Tom Raimbault said...

Very true! As a writer, I couldn't agree with you more! Writing should be a pleasure, and we should write because we feel it.

Julie Gardner said...

Julie - I related to everything you said in your post. I've been "hiding" too, using the excuse of Christmas: traveling, having family visit me, the kids home from school, hosting, cleaning, laundry....it's easy to find distractions. You've inspired me to jump back in. Good luck to you in your return to your joy ~ JCG

Shauna said...

Great post Julie. I was going to say "go back to your YA, that's what it sounds like you're most excited about." But you came to that conclusion all on your own. I'm glad.

I'm also jealous about all your reading time you've had. We have family visiting and I would trade that. But -I do love time to spend with a good book!

nikkibrandyberry said...

I don't think you're ever limited in what you can write. I know so many authors that now write YA or vice versa...I think you just write what you would read, write what you would love...and hope for the best :)

Cynthia Watson said...

Beautifully written!

Leah said...

Wow. It's nice to know I'm not alone! I've been through some experiences as of late that have made writing very difficult. But today feels different, and it might just be "the day" where I pick up my boots and surge forward.

Great post Julie! And thank you Vonnie, for sharing.

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

Tom! Thank you for your comment :) I always worry when I guest blog that there will be no responses. You've made my day!

Julie! SO glad to see I'm in good company. I'm bad at putting off what I'm afraid to face. I'm back on the horse as they say now though!

Shauna! Thanks for commenting! I do admit to losing sleep in the name of my word addiction, reading, writing and otherwise!

Nikki! Oh, how nice to see you here *snickers & hugs* Thank you for being my poor stage 1 beta reading all the muck before it ever resembles a novel. I love you Miss.

Amy said...

I completely agree with you, Julie. Every time I reconnect with my love of telling a story, I become much happier and as an added bonus, my writing improves as well!

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

Amy! Right? I am always happier when I'm in the middle of a fabulous tale, everyone know it, AND I improve my craft in the process. I mean - win-win-WIN! Yes!

Abby Annis said...

What a great post! Exactly the reminder I needed today. Thanks!

Valeriebrbr said...

Oh, the stages we writers endure. LOL! I'm a crusader for downtime and that includes a break from writing! If we aren't well rounded, our writing won't be either. Great post, Julie. Thanks Vonnie for the special feature! And there's Shauna!!! I'll see her at Murder Goes South in 31 days!!!! Woo Hoo! All my besties are here!

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

Abby! & Val! Thanks for the comments! I wish I was heading to a conference in 31 days!!! Enjoy!

amber said...

I needed this :-) I needed the reminder to write because I enjoy it and forget about all the "what if's?"

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

Amber! Yes! Those "What Ifs" often drag me down an ugly trail LOL Time to give them a flick and march onward, chin up, eyes forward, have-story will-travel style!

Alaina said...

Wonderful post, Julie! You're inspiration to all of us writers!

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

Alaina! Thank you! I'd never make it through my hiding phases without my great crit group and writer support pals! Thank you!!!

Amy said...

Hi Julie! Great post! I've been struggling with what story I should be writing now and found your advice to be very helpful. Thanks for your great view!
Take care, Amy
http://925hell.blogspot.com

Vonnie Davis said...

Julie, thanks bunches for guest blogging. You brought many visitors along which was great. I've taken a break from a novel set in the Smokey Mountains. You see, an idea for a story has grabbed me by the throat, and I am now suddenly in Paris, in the Louve, eyeball to eyeball with a terrorist. What cool worlds we writers create...no wonder we'd rather be inside our heads than struggling with day-to-day reality. Writing is truly our joy and, at times, the very air we breathe. Thanks Julie. Come back soon!

Erin Edwards said...

Hi Julie! So true. And what Valerie said was also true, the flip side of avoiding writing, the overwhelming sense of guilt and discontent when we're *not* writing. We writers are difficult. Pity the people who live with us. :)