Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Top 10 Joys of Writers

Previously, I shared a list of writers' top ten fears according to a survey noted in A Writer's Book of Days, by Judy Reeves. Those same writers were also asked about the joys of writing. Here is that list (with ties for some answers):

1. expressed many ways: the feeling of completeness, of being in sync with the universe, being present in the now, centered, peaceful, calm, being with myself

2. feeling that I entertained the reader, made people laugh, touched someone

3. the feeling of being creative, "in the groove," being an artist

3. telling a story, creating characters, plots

4. connecting with others

4. playing with words, using language

4. having an audience, having other people read or hear my writing

5. expressing myself, putting myself on paper, recording my thoughts

5. being with other writers

6. finding out about myself

6. producing something

7. being published

7. finishing, the feeling of having written

7. leaving a legacy, making a mark on the world

8. becoming a more discerning reader

9. finding out I'm good, that there is promise

10. the surprises, finding out what happens

I notice that many of the joys of writing have little to do with making money (although that's nice). Let the list remind you of all that writing can bring to your life. It definitely gave me a boost today.

--Marcia Peterson

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Monday, June 23, 2008


Loving the Sport

by Marcia Peterson

Actor Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) gave a commencement speech at the University Wisconsin a couple of years ago, which provides some good Monday morning motivation. The first of his basic principles for a successful life, is this:

"Fall in love with the process and the results will follow. You've got to want to act more than you want to be an actor. You've got to want to do whatever you want to do more than you want to be whatever you want to be, want to write more than you want to be a writer, want to heal more than you want to be a doctor, want to teach more than you want to be a teacher, want to serve more than you want to be a politician. Life is too challenging for external rewards to sustain us. The joy is in the journey."

As I thought about his message, I recalled hearing similar advice. In a San Francisco lecture a few years ago, bestselling author Anne Patchett said, "We need to start thinking of writing as an essential joy, not as a road that will lead us to something but a road that we take pleasure in for its own sake."

More high achievers, in various fields, say the same thing. Olympic athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee once said, "'The medals don’t mean anything and the glory doesn't last. It's all about your happiness. The rewards are going to come, but my happiness is just loving the sport and having fun performing." The musician Sting, upon accepting an award, once stated, "Music is its own reward."

Writing is its own reward. Remember why you love to write, and enjoy doing your work today!

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