Love Your Book

2:10 PM


Oh yes.


This is inspired by a lovely post done by my fren Hannah. You should totally go read it before you read this.

I think we can universally agree that writing sucks. It really does. It's hard, it takes time, and a lot of the time it feels like a whole lot of suffering for no reason at all. So why do we do it? Because we love it. Because we love the people that spring into our head and form stories, and we love the shape of the words that form those stories. We love it. We wouldn't do it otherwise. 

Without fail, every time I get super stuck in a novel I realize that it's because I've forgotten why I'm writing it. When Pariah gets jammed and isn't working...it's because I've been so wrapped up in making it good and making it something funny and intense that I forget why I started writing it in the first place: because I love the story itself. I take joy out of writing the story and the characters in that story. I love it. I really do. 

When I write for the pure and simple reason that I love the words and want to put them on paper, I have fun again. The words flow. The plot moves forward. (That's happening for once right now and it's beautiful.)

Your book is like a family member, someone close to you. It's so close, in fact, that you're bound to hate it from time to time. Those strong feelings of "I hate this book it's so stupid" are, I think, good for you. They're worlds better than trying to write a book you're apathetic about. If you don't have strong feelings regarding what you're writing...I would venture to ask why you're even writing it at all. 

I think you have to love the book you're writing. You don't have to see it as sunshine and rainbows and perfection all the time. You can want to throw it across the room, laptop and all. You can get frustrated with the characters. But in the end, you'll come back to it, time and time again, because it means something to you. Because emotion produces words that mean something. Up until very recently I hated anything to do with Pariah. I had to sit down and think about why I was doing it in the first place, and what it meant to me. 

What does your book mean to you? Why did you start writing it in the first place? What has it taught you? Why are you so attached to these characters? What has your experience been like with this messy pile of words sitting on your computer? 

Hannah has some great suggestions on this. My favorite is to make a list. Write down all the reasons why you enjoy this book, or the characters, or the plot. Scribble down everything that makes you want to hug it forever, everything that makes it important to you. 

That. That is why you are writing this book.

Not so you can get it published. Not so you can accomplish something for once in your life. Not so you can write the next bestseller. Not so your future beta-readers will scream over it. Those things are nice, but those things flow from the main reasons. From the fact that this story is a part of you and you love the story.

Remember why you're writing. Remember why you started the story in the first place. And give it some love. 


19 comments

  1. THANK YOU FOR THIS. I need someone to yell this at me until I finish this current draft because it's honestly killing me. So thank you for this reminder <3

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    1. YOU'VE GOT THIS. AND YOU DID DO IT SO YAYYY.

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  2. Aimee. This post.

    I am blessed in the afterglow of having read it.

    I think reading this unlocked why I felt my last story flopped just a little. I was giving it the same self-hurt statements I often give myself. "You're not good enough. You should be perfect. Why aren't you perfect yet?"

    Any story is going to suffer under that.

    But when we pull out what we love, what excites and makes our eyes glow and our heart beat faster, then our book is free to thrive and develop and we are free to let ourselves off the hook of perfection and grow with it.

    I was going to repeat the same self-hate error on my next story, but thanks to your good word, I'm going to take it to heart and love it instead. I think it will be a much more enjoyable process. :)

    God bless!
    Schuyler

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    1. Oh my goodness, I'm so so glad it helped you! It's a struggle for me almost constantly, and I'm always forgetting it, so trust me, it's a blessing that it's helped someone else too.

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  3. Yesss. I run into problems ALLLLL THEEEE TIMEEEEE with my stories, so bad sometimes (most of the time?) that I have to stop for weeks or months at a time to just rethink and plan things out, step by step by step, until I've gotten through the snag. And then I write a little bit and run into another snag. But not only is it the best feeling ever when I actually do fix a problem I thought I couldn't fix, but my stories are worth it to me. I love all my characters so much and they're my nonexistent little best friends and I want to squeeze them. I get excited all over again about the ideas and certain scenes and I just know that I want to keep working on it.
    And I realized recently-- it's actually kind of funny how I rarely even think about getting published when I'm writing. I mean, yeah, I want to get published and have a best seller or two or twelve and travel the world going to book signings, but that hardly ever even crosses my mind. When I'm having trouble with a story, all the time I spend thinking about it and slaving over a notebook trying to work things out-- I do it for the right now, because I love the story, not for the future, when I can hopefully get the story published. I guess I kind of go back to that sometimes when I'm tempted to wonder if writing's even really my thing-- because in those moments I definitely do it for the joy of it.

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    1. Yeah, it's a hard thing to remember, because we don't want to love these trainwrecks and we just let the loving part of it slip on by when we really shouldn't. Sigh.

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  4. THIS GETS A YES AND HELD BACK SOBS OF HAPPINESS AND GRATEFULNESS FROM ME!

    For almost nine months I'd been trying to figure out why exactly I never felt like editing the first two first drafts I'd ever written, but lately it just becomes clearer to me: because I never liked the book anyway, because I never cared about the characters, and because I never loved the story anyway. Now that I'm first drafting again, I really, really think this is the book that I'll finally edit (despite it being a huge mess 110% sure!) because I just loooove it.

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    1. *offers hugs and chocolate* You've got this! It's hard, but I believe in you.

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  5. You know I needed this. Thank you. <3

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  6. This is so perfect, and something I keep having to remind myself of. Great post!

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    1. You've got this! Just keep on writing.

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  7. Thank you! I needed a pep talk, I'm starting to get writer's block/book hate/frozen fingers/Scriptophobia and all that - even though I've practically just STARTED my new book. ):

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    1. Ahhh that's the worst. I hope it eases up for you!

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  8. This post is amazing, and I really needed this! I'm in such a rut lately/right now with my story. I've just forgotten that I love it + the characters and just need work through it.
    Thank you. I need to pin this or bookmark or something so I cam come back and re-read it sometime.

    Jeneca @ Jeniqua Writes

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    1. i'm so glad it was helpful. It happens to me all. the. time. and I'm always forgetting it, personally.

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  9. Yess. And that Elf gif. Thank you <3

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hey. hey. talk to me. i'm a fan of comments and flailing with you. go for it.