“You can’t have my fear / I got nothing to lose … I’m not getting out of here alive anyway”

So, as anyone who’s heard me wax grumpy on the subject knows, I’m generally skeptical of writing craft/process advice, especially writing craft/process advice that claims to for sure work for anyone but the writer sharing it. My own process is just odd enough that too much of the advice out there is very much not the right way for me.

On the other hand, mrissa‘s post this week on writing and the method of fun made no claims it would work for anyone but her. Yet as it turned out, it did resonate for me.

In mrissa‘s words: Last week I started doing a thing when I sat down to work on my current project. I asked myself explicitly, “What can I do to make this more fun for myself?”

Objectively and on the large scale, I already know this: that my writing wants to be about the things I find fun and awesome and cool and on some instinctive level enjoy, because if it’s fun for me, it’s likely to be fun for at least a few others; and more, because if it is fun for me, whatever else happens I get to have fun, and if I’m not having fun, at least some of the time, what’s the point of pursuing an unstable and difficult career anyway? Yet day to day, struggling with each book and with the things outside each book, too, I often forget.

So I love the idea of sitting down each day and saying, consciously, “Okay, so today, for where I am right now in this book, what can I do to make the writing fun?” For me and my process, I love and get excited about this in a way I don’t when I think about outlining or planning or pre-writing or flow-charting the day’s work. Just, “How can I make today’s writing fun?” That feels to me like a weight lifted instead of a weight added, like something that can urge my writing forward instead of dragging it down.

Today, at least, when I gave it a try, it meant that a shapeshifter-learning-to-hunt scene I’d been feeling draggy about went from being tedious to having energy and feeling interesting and even a little bit funny.

I’m not going to claim this will work for anyone else, either. I don’t even really know if it will work for me any day but today yet. But for now, “What is/can be fun for me about this scene?” is a question I plan to keep more consciously in mind than I have been lately, as both a motivational and a writing craft tool.

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