Tuesday, 15 May 2012

My Writing Epiphany


I had a writing epiphany at the weekend and I thought I’d share my thoughts with you. Although my epiphany might seem straightforward, it was something I really needed to remember and it had a big impact on me.

I’ve been quite stressed out recently with exams coming up very soon, particularly regarding my English Literature essays. I’ve been working on them but they have been consistently coming back with average marks. I like to push myself, and I knew I could do better than this, so it’s been aggravating me. Put this together with upcoming exams and it created a level of panic in my mind somewhat equivalent to Mount Vesuvius.

Back to the epiphany. This weekend, in an attempt to try and work out why my essays have been so horrible, I read over an exemplar essay I had, one I hadn’t seen in quite a while. Then, all at once, it clicked in my mind why my essays had sucked. 
 
I wasn’t having fun anymore. 

It’s such a simple premise. But, somehow, lost in the overwhelming panic of exams had gone the element of fun. 

Writing is my craft. The written word is my way of expression, and exploring this alongside different interpretations is what makes English Literature fun. It’s what makes writing essays fun. Yet I’d completely abandoned this element, and now, my standard of writing had declined. 

Having fun whilst writing is so important. If you’re not having fun writing, then clearly, the final product says it all. I wasn’t having fun writing those practice essays. I was stressed out, worried, and sick of feeling like my work wasn’t good enough. In that little bubble of chaos, there was no room for me to be having fun whilst writing, and frankly, it showed. 

After this realisation, I wrote another essay; but this time I had fun with it. Needless to say, it was a vast improvement on my other essays prior to this. 

So I guess my message is this: don’t lose sight of fun. It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing essays, writing stories, writing novels, or under publishing contract. One of the main reasons people like to write is because it’s fun. If you lose sight of that element, the chances are your writing is probably going to go downhill quickly. I may have found that out the hard way, but better late than never. It gave me an important lesson, and that’s not something I’m going to forget in a while.

6 comments:

  1. It's a great point, and one I hadn't overtly considered. It's the reason I've taken a break after the slog of NaNoWriMo last year, but I hadn't realised it - I needed NaNo to get me going, but the slog also took the fun away and made it a chore. Good luck with the exams!

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    1. I fell into exactly the same pattern; I would take a break from writing despite my schedule, but I was only taking a break because scheduling the writing was making it a chore! It's amazing how one small element such as fun can take so much away from the process. Thank you, and thanks for the comment!

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  2. Fun is definitely one of the most important aspects of being a writer! I couldn't do it without having fun. It wouldn't be worth the stress and difficulties I face along the way if I didn't have fun overall.

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    1. I totally agree. At the end of the day, if you haven't had fun writing something then what's the point of writing it at all? I'm just glad to have realised it sooner rather than later!

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  3. This is a fantastic point! and something that is so easily forgetten. I think that it is so easy to pile all the pressure on yourself, especially when your writing is going to be graded, its terrifying almost. I feel like this some days, when I'm trying to force myself to write, and I can always tell in the writing. It's dull. Thanks for reminding me that writing is supposed to be fun, not a chore!
    I'm nominated you for a blog award to :) http://strangerthanwriting.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/sunshine-award.html

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    1. Thank you, Laura.Yes I agree, there is that element of pressure and it really does take the fun out of writing - sometimes, fun should be the most important part. You're welcome! I'm glad I was able to share it, because like you said, it's too easy to forget!

      Also, thanks for the blog award; I just posted about it!

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