This is the sweet 16th episode of the Write Now podcast with yours truly.
Sometimes we lose that spark.
Remember when writing used to be fun? Or better yet, satisfying?
You can find that feeling again. It might just be a matter of letting go of some other stuff that matters less. It’s about understanding what it is you love about writing.
Here are some simple questions you can ask yourself that will guide your mind back into a happy writing place.
What was it that made you fall in love with writing in the first place?
- Reveling in the sheer number of possibilities?
- Getting lost in a unique story that was all your own?
- Playing out an imagined fantasy?
- Sharing a message you were passionate about?
Next, ask: What changed?
- Did someone kill your confidence and tell you your writing wasn’t great?
- Did you, for some reason, begin to feel ashamed of what you had written?
- Did you lose yourself in trying too hard to be like another, more famous, writer?
Finally! What would it take for you to feel real joy and satisfaction in your writing again?
That’s where happiness lies. I’ll help you find it in this week’s episode of Write Now.
The book of the week.
What first drew me to Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, book 1 in the Southern Reach Trilogy, was a couple things:
- That pretty, pretty cover
- Rave reviews from two wonderful and well-read friends
- Insinuations that it is similar to LOST
How could I resist?
It is so hard to do horror right, in my eyes. Despite being a genre that gets looked down upon by critics and the public alike, good horror is difficult. It’s so easy to be cheap — so easy to be gory and cruel, to follow a common trope to its logical conclusion.
It’s hard to write something both truly awful and truly beautiful.
But that is what Jeff VanderMeer has done in Annihilation.
Four female scientists — a biologist, anthropologist, psychologist, and surveyor — are sent to investigate the mysterious “Area X”, where 11 expeditions have gone before them and never returned — or returned changed.
You know me and my affinity for the Weird, so be prepared. This book is certainly Weird, and it’s not for everyone. A quick scan of fellow reader reviews on Goodreads suggests that people tend to either love or hate this book. If I were you, I’d take my chances regardless. The narrator is unreliable and the science questionable, but I think you’ll appreciate VanderMeer’s beautiful, speculative, and deeply insightful writing.
Keep up-to-date with my reading exploits on Goodreads.
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I’m curious to know: What would it take for you to feel real joy and satisfaction in your writing again? Or how do you maintain your joy and satisfaction in your writing?
Submit your own question on my contact page, or simply email me at hello [at] sarahwerner [dot] com. I’ll do my best to answer your question in an upcoming podcast episode.
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