I have spent quite a bit of time lately pondering the reasons why I write and how my writing changed over the last year. When I first started a little over three years ago, it was strictly for my own pleasure and I enjoyed creating something new. Writing for others never entered my mind.
I've written about this before how after my friends and family convinced me to get serious and learn how to write to sell, I completely changed my focus. I became obsessed with learning everything I could about writing correctly with the intent to lure the reader. Being a perfectionist didn't help as I was determined to use every new rule of writing I discovered.
Unfortunately, this took away any enjoyment I had originally found in writing, and it became a chore just to get anything down on paper. I would over-think every sentence or word I wrote down. Was that the right word? Is the sentence structure correct? Could I have written this a better way? Folks told me I had to find a way to turn off the inner editor monster I'd created and only bring him out when ready to edit. This has proved almost impossible.
Last week, several online friends challenged me to write a story mixing genres. It had to include a cowboy, a mermaid and be somewhat historically accurate. A complete story instantly filled my mind, but I tried to ignore it as I'm desperately trying to finish my first full length novel. I finally gave up on Sunday and just sat down with a fresh notebook and wrote the words as they appeared. It took me the better part of the day, but when I finished, I had over two thousand words. I haven't done that in over a year. I had finally written something again the way I used to without worrying about grammar, word choice, etc. It remains to be seen if I can now apply this to writing my WIP, but at least I now have the confidence that I can still write the way I used to and enjoy it.
If you are interested in what I wrote, here is a link:
Thanks for reading.