Write for Pleasure

In Craft, Musings on October 7, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Guest post by Veronica Hoyle-Kent, of PerSePress

 YWT_Cover_MediumRemember when writing a story was an act of pure pleasure?  I’m talking back when you didn’t have to be concerned with characters, plot, and conflict.  Back when you would pick up a number two pencil and write a story filled with fantastic creatures, faraway places, and incredibly vile villains. 

Nowadays, writing is such hard work.  Don’t even get me started on the mind-boggling, “what happens when I’m done with the story.”  I want to write as if I didn’t need an agent, wasn’t worried about query letters, and didn’t give a hoot if my words ever appeared in hardback, soft-cover, or e-books.

I think we’d all be better off if we wrote with the ultimate goals in mind…will Mom hang my work on the refrigerator, will Grandma tell me it’s the best story ever, will the teacher give me a gold star?

I consider myself lucky because my mom and my grandmother are still my biggest fans, but it’s so easy to forget that writing is supposed to be about my enjoyment, my amusement, my fulfillment. 

I’m thinking of keeping a separate journal for the inner-child where the words will flow freely without thought of content, punctuation, or grammar.  The first page will read, “Burn Upon my Death” so that I need never worry about being judged on the material contained within.  It will be filled with imaginary creatures, implausible plots, incorrect spelling, and an abundance of adjectives (not to mention ample alliteration).  It will also contain more joy and fulfillment than most of the stories I work so painstakingly to perfect.  Perhaps I will glean from one of these “terribly-written” stories a spark that will ignite the perfectionist in me and inspire me to clean it up, nurture and polish it, until I find the perfect gem lying beneath the dull stone.

In any case, it will release the writer in me to once again feel the joy of a child who believes that anything is possible, that all my writing is magical, and that my destiny is to be a famous and much-admired author.  At the very least, tomorrow I’ll go out and buy myself a big box of gold stars!


Veronica is the co-creator of Young Writers’ Story Deck Writing Program. She is the mother of two and a dedicated volunteer in the Morgan Hill Unified School District (California). She writes children’s stories and has worked with young writers in the classroom for many years.

  1. I agree! Once I became a “writer,” writing became so many other things beyond the fun of writing a story “just because.”

    I love the idea of giving ourselves gold stars!

    • Hi JoAnna, when I’m all caught up in the “must publish or die” mentality, I try to step back, breathe, and remember why I started writing as a little kid. I didn’t give two hoots about publication at age 8. I wrote because I NEEDED to, because it made me feel alive. It’s good to remember we can always come back to that place if we allow it. I’m glad you resonated with Veronica’s post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: