Discover the Book You’re Meant to Write Preview #4
The serious part of me will never go undernourished. I mean really, I can put the ponder in ponderous. I can stew for hours with life mysteries, with grief, angst, and a don’t-fuck-with-me kind of reverence for EVERYTHING. Especially now. What to be serious about first, you know?
Thank goddess that’s not the only part of me. There’s another part, one that I often forget to feed, but never seems to get too bent out of shape about it. She’ll just sashay up to the table and hold out her Lochness Monster ladle, demanding I dish up not only deliciousness but also a dance.
If you, too, have a playful, fun-loving part of yourself who needs a hearty meal, this post is for you.
This is the last in a series of previews I’m doing for Discover the Book You’re Meant to Write, the course of my heart that I’m offering to you. Registration is open through Tuesday, January 17, and the course starts Wednesday, January 18. So if you want to sign up, now is the time!
In the last three posts, I’ve written about a book as not the point but an entry point to something bigger, about composting unhappy endings, and about the importance of reaching out for help, whatever that looks like for you. I’ve written both to give you a taste of the particular flavor of this course, and to give you resource materials whether you take this course or not.
For this final preview post, I want to address perhaps the most important component of this course: it’s fun.
I know fun isn’t supposed to be a good selling point (not nearly as good as fear, right?), but I’d rather say what’s true than what’s marketable. I’m not nearly as interested in selling you this course as I am in you having fun, whenever you write and make stuff up.
Um, Jen, you may say. Do something for fun…right now? Have you seen the impending apocalypse outside your window this week?
Yes, I have. And yes, right now. The apocalypse might last for four years or more. Or maybe even less, goddess-willing. I don’t know. What I do know is that people who nurture themselves through simple pleasures are better equipped for just about everything, including being steadfast advocates for awareness, compassion, justice, and inclusion.
So if it sounds pleasurable to you to
- devote some of your life force to getting that book out of your dreams and onto the page,
- give voice to something that matters deeply to you,
- share something you’ve learned, or
- learn about something you’ve shared (it often works that way with writing; understand and learn as you write),
Okay, let’s address all the voices of protest that popped up in my head and perhaps in yours. Yes, writing a book is also hard work. You may cry or bleed or sweat while doing it. You may sometimes curse at it, or curse at yourself, or the people who interrupt you when you’re especially busy cursing at it.
Along with all of that, writing a book is a fundamentally creative act, something I choose to do. At least for me, a creative impulse depends on hope (I could actually do this), nurturing (I will give you pineapple juice and a new purple pen), and pleasure (I get to play with words and how they go together! I get to make something!). Otherwise, why am I making whatever thing I’m making?
And fine, I don’t really think you’re doing it “wrong” if you’re not having fun – that was just me, playing with words. I would, however, say that if you’re writing only because you’re supposed to, or because it’s another way to suffer, or because everybody keeps saying you need to do it but it doesn’t really flick your bic, that may be something to look at.
In Discover the Book You’re Meant to Write, and, in fact, in all the work I do with writers, I encourage playful exploration. Since you’ve done me the honor of reading this far, I’m also going to encourage you to pursue some pleasure right now, with a few activities:
- Make a pleasure list. Things you enjoy. Things you think you might enjoy. Things you enjoy thinking about enjoying.
- Pick something from said list and do it. Now.
- Ask yourself: what would I have a ball writing about? Then answer, in a 5-10 minute free write. A list, a paragraph, whatever. Note that it’s possible to have fun writing about serious things and you can enjoy the release of a story you’ve held captive in your heart for years.
- For bonus points, send me your free write, and I’ll respond!
I hope that this post has given you at least a little spark of delight, and if it sounds like fun to you, I would love to have you in this new session of Discover the Book You’re Meant to Write. Just make sure you sign up by midnight, P.S.T. on January 17, or, you know, EVERYTHING WILL BE RUINED.
Just kidding. Everything’s already ruined! So why not have some fun when you write?
With so much love for you, and some giggles,
Thank you so much for reading. You might notice that I don’t have a space for comments, but I’m certainly open to conversation about what’s written here. If you’re so inspired, feel free to start a conversation with me via the contact form on the homepage of this site.