Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Amateur Writer: Writing for Love and Pleasure

Fall back in love with writing
I recently heard a speaker remind his audience of the meaning of amateur, from the French "lover of" and the Latin amatorem and amator, "lover." Of the dictionary definitions, the following seem most applicable to writers, many of us, anyway:
  • A person who engages in an activity for pleasure, rather than for financial benefit or professional reasons
  • A person who admires something, a devotee or fan
But how do you rekindle the love of writing when the flame is flickering or has died?

One good way is to ask yourself a few simple questions (you may be too exhausted to ask hard ones). Often, the answer to one question reveals another question that helps you arrive at answers. For example:

Q: Do you lack the time or energy to write?
Q: Where do you spend too much time and effort?

Q: Do you lack writing credits?
Q: In what areas are you already involved that could use a guest post, newsletter entry or how-to article?

Q: Are you stuck in a writing rut?
Q: What type of writing do you focus on (e.g., posts, tweets, etc.), and what other type(s) of writing would you like to do?

Questions like these beget questions that point to answers. There will always be reasons not to write, one of which is that it stops just being enjoyable. When that happens, ask yourself the questions above, or others, until the fog begins to clear. Then map out a strategy to constructively address the answers.

Tips:
  • Simplify: Don't take on more if you have enough already, at least not before reorganizing what you have. I did that with today's blog.
  • Journals: They can be a great way to get those feelings of frustration out on paper (and you never know what an entry might lead to).
Let me know how it goes. And if you've got a particular writing or editing conundrum share it here. You're not alone, and the answers to your questions can benefit others.

Happy writing!

Articles that can help:

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