Friday, September 11, 2015

Let’s Not Forget Our Writing Roots: A Personal Reminder by Margo Hoornstra

Fellow Rose J. L. Wilson recently shared on these pages how she’s taken a year off from publishing. Not writing, she was quick to add, just the publishing side of things.

I have to say, that concept really resonated with me.

Especially now. Like many other working writers, I’m deeply embroiled doing all the necessary promotion for the short stories and books I already have published, fulfilling obligations for blog posts, sharing and posting and promoting for others as well.

In addition to all that, I’m in the hunt for a home for my wip romantic suspense series, Brothers In Blue – four police academy grads who share a passion to serve and protect, each in their own unique way. Right now, one of four books, Deceived by Trust is completed and ready to go. I say that rather tongue in cheek. You all know the drill, even though the manuscript is finished and making the submissions rounds, I’m still stressing over whether to insert a comma here and there or not. Re-reading, self-editing, proofing and the like until I can hardly see straight. The second book, Bound by Duty is nearly halfway done and I’m deep into figuring out various plot points, assuring proper character growth and believable story arcs.



In short, the entire process has become work I’m sorry to say.

The third and fourth, Claimed by Pride and Ruled by Honor are mere twinkles in my eye. Exactly what I need to get back to in my writing. The twinkles. The sparks. I need to revisit the joy of writing for the sake of writing in all its unencumbered and freeing glory.

That bud of an idea given an unrestrained chance to blossom. The ‘Aha!’ moment when what a character said or did a few pages back suddenly makes perfect sense. The satisfaction of creating something out of nothing, as it were. The excitement, and anticipation to discover what comes next; even though I’m the one who created these people, places and things. The one who should have all that information, literally at my fingertips; but don’t.

Too bad I temporarily forgot how sometimes it’s simply nice—make that satisfying, rewarding, pleasing, gratifying—to just let go and write. No inner critic with finger wagging and head shaking, no editing worries to bog me down. No story arc dilemmas or character motivation questions to stop me in my creative tracks.

Don’t get me wrong. My quest for publication will go on. So will my quest to rediscover the joy of writing that started me down this published author path in the first place.

For a while though, it’s going to be just me and the words. Right, wrong or indifferent; and in whatever order they happen to fall onto the page. I’ll do my darnedest to try that for a while as I move on. How about you?

Please take a moment here to reflect with me on more than just writers and their writing. As always, and especially today, my heartfelt gratitude to the brave men and women who put their lives on the line day after day, simply to serve and protect the rest of us. Thank you.


My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more about me and my stories, please visit my WEBSITE

13 comments:

Jannine Gallant said...

Isn't it nice when you're actually enjoying the process? When an hour or two pass in a frenzy of typing (or in your case writing by hand LOL) and you realized you haven't checked your email once? I think we all need more of that!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Well amen to that, Jannine. Hand writing can get pretty frenzied too you know! Either way, priceless when it happens.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I'm sort of doing what you are, Margo. With 3 of my 5 book series done, I'm not driving myself crazy on book 4. I have lots of promo going so book 4 is going to be done in those enjoyable moments when I have the time to write.

Diane Burton said...

Best wishes to you, Margo. I know what you mean about being so crazy with the "work" part that we forget the fun of writing. I hope you find a home for your cop series.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Exactly, Brenda. Book 4 will no doubt be better for it. Congrats on the first three.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks, Diane. Fingers crossed and all of that. The work part of this writing life can tend to overwhelm.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Not only do we have to take time out 'just to write;' we also have to take out time for new experiences so we can get our juices flowing. Seriously, in just two bistro meals here in Paris...with tables right there on the sidewalk, the people who come by or we sit next to are characters for any novel (including the drunk who failed to button up his fly...and the 40-year old couple that couldn't keep their hands off each other). And the clothes both women and men wear! Big stories right there. Anyway, Margo, you have my permission to have an adventure, along with just writing :-)

Alison Henderson said...

What a timely post! I've just wrapped up the publication duties for my short story collection, and I'm getting ready to dive in to my first full-length novel in three years. I know I have a lot of promo ahead of me in the next few months, but I really want to tap back into the pure creative joy of writing again.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Wow, Rolynn! Are you taking pictures? I'll take you up on permission to have an adventure. Maybe go find my own open flyed drunk. OR NOT. Hmmm. Think I'll give the amorous couple some space. We're expecting 'special' posts from you when you get home. 😄

Margo Hoornstra said...

Best of luck on your collection, Alison. Do have fun with the full length. Right now I'm in what I call stream of consciousness mode with the WIP. No holds barred, and it's so much fun!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

There are times when I long for the days I can write at my own speed. Write what type of story I want. Give it a title I like. Now I am given the dates I must turn in the manuscripts, their titles, subject matter, and sometimes the characters' names. I'm afraid my post tomorrow is almost a continuation of yours. How did we do that?

Margo Hoornstra said...

How, Vonnie? Great minds? Or maybe this writing gig is more universal than we thought. There is something to be said for losing the joy of it.

Leah St. James said...

Just ditto to what everyone has said. Every once in a while I lose myself in writing and remember the joy of creating something fresh (flawed but fresh!). Great message.