One. Fun. Thing.
Or, more than one fun thing, if that’s what you want. But at least one fun thing.
“You grew up in a desert?”
Cade nodded. “The capitol’s in a desert; you’ve been there.”
I stared at him, trying to control the impulse and failing. “So, if you’ve lived in a desert most of your life . . . how do you feel about sand?”
Whatever question he’d been expecting, that wasn’t it. “Sand?”
A shrug, as if he’d never thought about it before. “It’s fine, I guess.”
“It’s fine?” I raised my eyebrows. “Not . . . coarse?”
The wizard frowned. “Well, some of it’s fine and some of it’s coarse, depending on the terrain – why do you ask? Do you not have any of your own sand?”
“Sure we have sand – there’s a beach right in town.” I kept a straight face. “I like sand.”
He looked at me, obviously confused. “That’s what I meant when I said sand is fine.” He hesitated. “I mean, it does get everywhere – that’s irritating – but – “
I began to laugh.
I do a fair amount of writing – a lot more rewriting – with the idea that someday I’ll be good enough at it to get paid. And while I wouldn’t keep on writing if I didn’t enjoy it, trying to be better takes a lot of the fun out of a project.
Not good, not good, not good enough, still not good enough, still not good enough. Again!
It can be discouraging. And sometimes, working on a different project, in a different stage, isn’t any easier, because I have hopes for that story too, and I want it to be perfect, even when I’m rough-drafting.
My solution? At least one other thing going on the sidelines that’s just for fun. Something silly. Pointless. Something I’ll never rewrite or try to make better because it doesn’t matter. It’s just for me and my own enjoyment. Maybe it’s a side character’s backstory. Maybe it’s an inside joke or a bit of epilogue or prequel. Maybe it’s fan fiction in one of my favorite universes. (Star Wars. It will always be Star Wars. Or sometimes Jules Verne, for variation.)
Maybe it’s something with characters who are complete strangers to me, and we discover the story together until it’s time for us to part ways.
I always go back to my serious writing, and my serious, writerly goals. But I goof off, too, to remind myself why I started writing in the first place: it brings me joy.
Happy writing, all. ; -)