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How I Found My Joyous Writing Groove and Maybe How You Can, Too

Updated on March 3, 2016
Living to take joy in writing makes writing a sensual pleasure.
Living to take joy in writing makes writing a sensual pleasure. | Source

Learning How to Become a Successful Writer and Loving Every Minute of It

I recently read an article called "Does Your Writing Career Suck? Five Ways to Unplug Life Support and Gain Success" which lead me to ponder what I was doing to become a successful writer. While Billy Buc's idea of spending at least 10,000 hours at the craft to reach proficiency was a good one and not, I think, entirely wrong, I don't think that's nearly enough.

I think that writing is difficult to approach the same way as learning any other occupation. I think too much of the raw materials for the finished product of success come from the writer herself to think of writing in the same way as auto repair or floral designing.

One can walk away from auto repair at the end of a day at work and everything you need to do your work the next day that doesn't already reside inside your brain will be sitting there in the garage. The same applies to the floral designer; she can leave the shop at night and the flowers will be waiting for her in the morning or a quick phone call will bring them to her doorstep. A writer has to produce the words from somewhere inside herself so she has to keep manufacturing the words and the ideas to tuck them into even as she's putting on her pajamas at night.

I've noticed that my writing doesn't begin to really flow, to fall from my fingers in cataracts unless I take the effort to look at the world like a writer as I'm just going about living my life. I'd like you to go on my journey with me for a moment or so and see what it takes to put my writing into a joyous groove where it pulls me along like gravity on a water slide. I hope you can enjoy that ride, too, as life is so much more enjoyable when others are enjoying themselves, too.

So sit back, fix yourself a cup of tea, and try to catch some droplets of joy from my words as I put you in the back seat of my favorite wild ride.

Have you ever wondered where baby writers come from? Have you ever wondered where your writing life began?
Have you ever wondered where baby writers come from? Have you ever wondered where your writing life began? | Source

Where Do Baby Writers Come From?

I started writing when I was a child. As soon as I learned that words could represent my thoughts and be shared with others who might find them interesting, I put crayon to paper and wrote. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you had done the same.

I wrote my first short story in early 1973, complete with illustrations. The text read something like this - "This is Blob. Blob lives in a cave. The End." Blob also apparently had a bit of pocket money because Blob had two very large lion statues guarding the entrance of her cave. I commissioned my sister to write my mom's recipe for popcorn balls on the back of my crudely stapled homemade book.

Before you criticize, I was only three at the time.

The book was a disaster and my drawing skills were pathetic, but it was my very first step toward being a writer, my first few hours logged and deposited in the bank of my writing skills. If you look back far enough into your memories, you may find something similar there. While peering in the shadowed corners of your mental writing vault looking for that early memory, scan for bright colors and sparks of light.

The reason I ask you to seek that first writing memory is to help you capture it like a firefly in a jar to light your way when things get dark in your writing mental space. Thinking about that first book of mine makes the memory easier to pull up when I'm in need of recharging. Even though I find myself wordless as to which emotions I was experiencing so very far back, I feel them as I hold the memory of that first story. Whatever they are, they make me want to write like I want a piece of chocolate drizzled raspberry cheesecake after a two day fast. And the writing is just as heavenly as the first bite of decadence all the way down until it hits the white space it isn't yet ready to fill.

So gather that first writing memory to yourself and take a look at it. For me it's incredibly vivid and, over the years, I've pondered why it is so clear and bright and detailed. I wondered why I smelled a whiff of fresh crayons when I thought about holding that lousy little book in my hand. I wondered why I could still see my struggling hand pushing the yellow-gold waxy stick across off-white paper. I'm pretty sure it's because it happened before I stopped living moment to moment, when nothing was a decades old routine.

Children seem to experience every moment until they become involved in repetitive tasks and learn to focus on those tasks alone.

Live life wide awake and notice how the fragments of your writing take shape and fall into place like magnetic puzzle pieces.
Live life wide awake and notice how the fragments of your writing take shape and fall into place like magnetic puzzle pieces. | Source

Live in the Moment and Notice the World Around You

Living in the moment seems to produce my most vivid memories. I've learned that my most vivid memories are the easiest to capture in words others find captivating. Expressing those memories in words has taught me how to express the landscapes and characters of my imagination in words that offer up images and the physical sensations of feelings.

So give it a try, take a moment and examine where you are right now as if it were the most fascinating television show on earth, complete with surround sound, feel-o-vision, and a full complement of fascinating fragrances. Smell your coffee and your next door neighbor's vegetable curry that's come wafting in from the hallway. Hear the birds outside your window and feel the chair beneath your butt as it shapes to cradle you in comfort or lumps up in vindictive silence, slowly assaulting your lower back. Take it in and recognize it's different than any other moment you've ever experienced or ever will again.

Realize Your Life is Interesting

It's probably only you who finds your life boring, if anyone does at all. Each life is unique and that's something we all have in common. So we can relate to each other when others can identify parts of themselves in things we describe experiencing that they'll never know firsthand. Our words can give others memories that add to the richness of experience in their lives.

No one is experiencing life quite the way you are right now and probably quite a few would be fascinated to get insight into the way even ordinary things make other people think and feel.

Be confident in speaking your inner voice if you feel you have something to say. Someone is bound to be interested if you are.

Think About What You Are Doing When You Are Doing It

So every morning when you get up you take your vitamins, eat your breakfast, and brush your teeth. Have you ever bothered to think about why you do those things the way you do? Or do you just do them on auto-pilot, treat them as tasks to tick off a list of things that must be done?

I've noticed that, comforting as a routine may be, it loses its comfort when I stop really putting the thought towards feeling and making note of what I'm doing. I've found doing the same things the same way day-after-day without thinking or really experiencing them makes time slip by far too fast for comfort. It's like each new memory of hitting the snooze alarm is stacked atop another, identical in every way until I can't remember if I've hit the snooze alarm already on any given day. The memory of actually doing things becomes a sketchy symbol rather than a full-surround experience just a bit different from last time the action was done.

It's no wonder time slips by too fast to even know it's going by when my memory is getting filled with shorthand too much. When my memory sits static and repeats every day, my experience feels more like opening a dusty dictionary to an impersonal definition of a word than reading an adventure novel I've never read before that starts with something unique but perfectly mundane.

But if I take the time to notice what's going around me and think what I'm doing and why, I find I have plenty of time for everything I need to do and plenty of time to enjoy every word I write, no matter how many hours sit free ahead of me on the hands of a clock. I also find I know what I've already done and what I have yet to do. I also don't worry about whether or not I shut off the coffee machine or unplugged my curling iron before I left the house because I remember whether I have or not.

Find out what makes you feel and write about it, even if you think it's weird.
Find out what makes you feel and write about it, even if you think it's weird. | Source

Write What Sets Your Mind on Fire With Feelings

For me, that's social issues and an examination of the human condition and existence. It's also the sensual pleasures of life, like dark chocolate, sex, and writing by a campfire with ash and marshmallow on my hands.

For me it's also science fiction, where I can make drawings of social issues and the human condition using words that parallel pieces of reality, maybe just enough to get other people to see them in a different light.

For you, it's likely something else, but if you look hard enough, I'm sure you'll find out where your passion lies already or where it eventually might.

See, Smell, Taste, and Hear Clearly the Stories You Wish to Write

As I touch fingers to injection-molded plastic squares inscribed with symbols that represent sounds, I keep the image of the memory I wish to create firmly in my mind. As I look around the world I've created in my head find my fingers tripping over themselves trying to put its description in words fast enough to catch the richness of my ideas. It feels a bit like catching a perfect wave or getting kissed by a thousand tiny raindrops on a sunny summer day. I hope you can feel it, too.

© 2015 Kylyssa Shay

How Do You Live to Write Your Way Into A Joyful Groove?

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    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 8 months ago from Norfolk

      I am so glad I found this article. I can remember so clearly how writing made me feel in my early years. You remind me that I need to claim back some of that excitement that writing brings.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 23 months ago from Brazil

      What a beautiful journey your writing career has been. I never had that passion to write but I am learning it can be developed and can start whenever we make our minds up to do it.

      You have made some wonderful points about living in the moment, the Now, and finding inspiration everywhere.

    • MichalWrotter profile image

      Michal 23 months ago from Czech Republic

      This is such amazing article. I trully enjoyed reading about your writing start. As I said once, noone was born as a writer. Seems we all have the same chances. You pictured your journey beautifully. Thank you for sharing it. Michal

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub Kylyssa. We all take a road about following our dreams to write and become best-sellers. Mine started as therapy and a hobby which turned into a dream and possible a future career. I did publish poetry in the past, had no luck with short stories. Voted up for useful!

    • serenityjmiller profile image

      Serenity Miller 2 years ago from Brookings, SD

      I wrote my first story when I was four years old, within hours of my mother teaching me how to use her typewriter so she could garden uninterrupted. As I recall, the tale went something like "There was a girl and her parents did not love her and she ran away. The end."

      In retrospect, I can appreciate how my mother might have interpreted my first written work as a thinly veiled commentary about my maligned four-year-old condition, but I could never get her to understand that it was just fiction. Thus, I began my career as a controversial author...

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 2 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      I find that revisiting those early memories reminds me of how to think like a child and experience the world more like a child. I think it's important for me, as a writer, to see the world like a child as it allows me to describe things as if I'm living in the moment I'm describing.

    • owlish profile image

      owlish 2 years ago from Cheshire

      I love the energy in your article & think it is very useful. I've only recently come to a similar realisation that the memories of my childhood I like best are of times when I could sit and observe in detail everything aroun me, I can remember lazy afternoons reading a book on my grandmother's couch, listening to the next door neighbour playing country music next door incredibly vividly, more so than I can remember many routine days which must have existed of the school-then-home variety.

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 2 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @Jodah

      I was a very odd, serious child and I took almost everything literally, so I didn't see the obstacles to writing that most other children seemed to instinctively grasp.

      I'm also a high-functioning autistic person so writing has been a very important form of communication for me as far back as I can remember knowing how to write. My speech is odd and many people seem unable to properly listen to speech that flows exactly like my writing except in a business context. Most people don't often allow me to say more than half a sentence before interrupting and I'm not aggressive enough to push my way back into the conversation and I have never mastered the correct way of doing so without getting other people irritated . I learned that while most people seldom cared about anything I said aloud, I could sometimes get through to them with a note. I also learned that I could get a good head start running if I pissed my sister off with a note.

      It's good to know you were able to keep and cherish your childhood poem and put it out into the world last year. It's never too late to approach writing with a child-like wonder backed by grown-up knowledge and skills.

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 2 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @ThompsonD

      That's the idea. I'd hoped to remind people of a time when their writing was something approached with innocent excitement and delight to help them feel eager to write while using their much advanced grown-up skills and knowledge.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Kylysa, it was really interesting hearing about how you approach writing and remembering back to your very first story "This is Blob." I honestly can't remember the first thing I wrote. It was probably a story or essay at school. I remember the first poem I wrote in about 4th or 5th grade I think "House on the Hill" which I actually revamped into a hub for halloween last year. Your style is easy to read and I enjoyed this. Like Bill I didn't start taking my writing seriously until much later in life. I wish I had of done that earlier.

    • ThompsonD profile image

      Deirdre Adele Thompson 2 years ago from Danville, IL

      This is a very helpful article. These tips reminded me just how much work goes into the craft and how much I enjoy that challenge to get better.

    • Kylyssa profile image
      Author

      Kylyssa Shay 2 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      @BillyBuc I think every writer's gestation is different and that sometimes we need to be born again to rejuvenate that passion that brought us all to the pen and the page or to the keyboard and the screen.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I always love hearing the path others have taken. My early writing path was practically non-existent. I didn't really become interested in writing until I was 55. I never considered myself to be creative. But I have lived a full life. I am aware of my surroundings. I am empathetic and I'm aware of my senses drinking in all that is around me.....so the marriage has been consummated and now I am a writer, standing proud and strong. :)

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