Saturday, April 4, 2009

The finer things. . . .

Does it get any better than this? Probably not, unless, of course, you're sharing them with your sweetie!

Writers have to look for joy in the small things in life, not the great triumphs, but the small victories. Not finishing that novel, but starting it. Not writing the climactic scene, but finding that little something to add into the story to which everyone can relate. Realizing that the sentence you just wrote was actually grammatically correct--for once! Being happy you have a spell checker when you try to write a word like grammatically.

I guess what I'm saying is that writing is like pizza and beer with a little chocolate for dessert. It's not fancy, and though you may have to pay a bit more than you'd like, the rewards are great and the victories are, well, victorious.

Few things can compare with getting emails from readers telling you how much they enjoyed your book and are looking forward to the next one. The trick is to take the time to savor those small victories and not get bent out of shape when you lose out in other areas. Your day will come if you keep at it--maybe. But isn't the maybe what makes you get out of bed in the morning? Maybe today is the day I'll get that contract, hear from that agent, see words that I've written finally packaged in book form.

I've been missing out on the joy lately. Pressures from this, that, or the other have been squashing the fun. But, starting today, I'm going to try looking at the fun side as much as I can. There are things in my books that I feel very strongly about; things that I shouldn't give up on, no matter what. I'm writing for a different audience than most, so I know I won't please everyone, but I've let things others have said sway me far too much, so much so that I sometimes lose sight of what I set out to do when I began to write, which was to have fun; not sweat blood and let every little thing drive me to the brink.

The ladies who visit my blog know what I'm talking about. They've seen me through some strange, but wonderful times. The time has now come to enjoy the fruits of my labors--not the monetary ones, but the joyful ones.

I'm about to embark on the revisions to the fifth book in the Cat Star Chronicles series, and I'm actually excited about some of them--not feeling like it's some form of penance for being a rotten writer.

I just hope I can keep that attitude long enough to finish it by May 10th. . . .

Oy, vey! I almost forgot the hunk!

Now, that's joy. . . .


  1. I so hear you, Cheryl, about missing out on the joy!! I've been writing, revising, promoting, proposing... doing it all too much, too hard. Can't slow down yet, but I will be so happy to in a while, and then... rediscover the joy of it all!

  2. Good luck finding the joy, Cheryl. It's important. We've worked so hard to get where we are, what's the point if we can't enjoy it?

  3. I'm getting back to the joy.

    Right after I finish these edits... LOL

    Enjoy, Cheryl! (But I'll substitute champagne for the lager)

  4. Good for you, Cheryl. I've been cheering for you from the sidelines to get your happy groove back. You and I can relate to the unique stress of writing on top of a demanding full-time job and a family. There's not much time for joy in the midst of all of that, is there? I'm with you on the writing being fun--the minute it's not, I'm done. The minute it starts to feel like "a job," I'm done. Not there yet, but I've had a few close calls of my own. :-) Fortunately, like you, I always manage to rally!! Good luck with the revisions!

  5. Cheryl,

    Yes that is why we all started, isn't it, because we joyfully had a story to tell.

    It is sometimes hard to remember that amid all the other stresses. So good for you.

    And I'm very glad you didn't forget the hunk. He really is a joy.

  6. Don't miss out on the joy, Donna. It's the only thing that really makes it worthwhile. We all have stress, but if it wasn't for the fun part, why would anyone do this for a living????

  7. You said it, Robin! We owe it to ourselves to try to be happy. Life is too short as it is, so there's no point in spending what time we have being miserable.

  8. Judy,
    I suppose what I'm saying is to find the joy in doing the edits. It's stressful, I know (I did the rewrite of Warrior in one very long, stressful day!) but there's a certain satisfaction in making them work for you.

    Enjoy your champagne. I prefer beer--or tequila!

  9. My DH has been egging me on, too, Marie. I've been agonizing over so many things, and really, it gets you nowhere, so why do it?
    Many thanks for your continued support and encouragement. We Casa Babes need each other!

  10. Yes, the hunks are certainly joyful, Michele. Sometimes we forget that sweet, adorable guys are what romance writing is all about. Without them, there would be no romance, and that would be very sad. :-(

  11. You said it Cheryl. I too have been way short on joy the last couple of weeks.Too much going on and none it seeming to have anything to do with what I love which is to create my books.

    And you're right. The way to recover the joy is focus on the little things.

  12. Sounds like we've all been working too hard, doesn't it, MM? It's tough to be creative and write about romance when your mind is all tied up in knots.
    Right now, I've got the house to myself and I'm baking Asiago cheese bread and learning the Macarena. And I feel GOOD!

  13. Those look like amazing treats though I've only had the pizza lol. Discovering the small blisses in life is good. The hunk is pretty too XD

  14. That was a darn good pizza, too, Ana. Pizza Hut stuffed crust with double cheese, black olives, and pepperoni. Add a little garlic butter to dip the crust in, and it just doesn't get any better than that!

  15. When I'm doing rewrites, I get closer to my characters, enjoy creating more vivid scenes, fall in love all over again. Okay, most of the time. :) Right now...*sigh* it's probably one of the harder things I'm struggling with. But the story is getting better. Good luck with your deadline! You'll make it!

  16. I hear you, Terry! The thing I dislike most about rewrites is having to track the changes. It really makes a mess of the manuscript and makes those changes glaringly obvious when you want them to blend in seamlessly. Anyone have any thoughts on how to get around that?

  17. It's the old saying Cheryl about taking time to stop and smell the roses.

    Although I'd go for pizza and chocolate with a nice glass of wine.


  18. Yes, Linda. There's a reason old sayings like that have stuck with us. We should heed them more often.

  19. "A thing of beauty is a joy forever..." And Cheryl, your hunks are indeed BEAUTIFUL! So thanx for spreading a little joy. ;-)

    Like so many others, I haven't had enough joy lately either. I'm really struggling with this WIP, but it really will be worth it once I get this #@)&#()& first draft done...

    I know what you mean about the "track changes" feature that our editor likes for us to use. I'll admit that I sometimes make a copy and turn the tracking OFF just to make sure that it really does flow together.


  20. Hi AC!
    Good luck on the WIP, but try not to let the small stuff get you down. From what I'm hearing from all of you, it sounds like we need to PARTY!!! Maybe a live chat with virtual tequila or something.
    Good idea on making the copy. I'll have to give it a try.

  21. Well, I'll definitely go for the chocolate. And I'll dream of having readers one day. Meanwhile, wishing you joy.

  22. Thanks, Sheila! Here's wishing you readers!