13 March 2010


When I was 10, I started writing stories about characters from my favorite TV shows. I filled notebook after notebook with longhand pencil scrawl. I never finished anything; all my scribblings were just for fun, and centered around the immediacy of getting scene ideas out of my head and onto the page.

That's what I really miss about writing - being so into just one scene, one idea, that I can't wait to get it down on paper. Never mind scene structure. Never mind plot arc, character arc, or any other writing rules. Just pure, unadulterated fun.

When I was writing for publication, writing became a chore. Despite my best intentions, I struggled to meet deadlines. Although I produced some fine stories, it wrung me out. The joy disappeared from my life.

Now, I have very good friends for whom the opposite is true: they produce fine stories, can write quickly, and are having the time of their lives developing their writing careers. I am tickled pink for them; they deserve to enjoy every single moment.

The point of all this rambling is that I've taken a very hard look at my life, at all the angst I've been putting myself through over writing, and have come to the conclusion that I'm happy with my life the way it is right now. I enjoy my day job; I enjoy it much more than I ever did my writing career, such as it was. And I want to rediscover the joy that I had as a 10-year-old, bent over a notebook, scribbling away, oblivious to the rest of the world.

So for now, I'm content to be a recreational writer. No goals, no pressure, no expectations. When an idea strikes, I want to be able to write about it for its own sake and have fun doing it. I may never publish again, and strangely, I'm okay with that. My writing is once more my own.