Sometimes, it feels like there’s a stigma that when you’re a writer, you need to hate what you’re writing. You need to slave over your work, beating yourself up after every word you write because it’s a torturous process. When people ask about what you’re working on, you have to answer along the lines of “I have this work in progress but it’s not very good and I’m struggling with it” and so on and so forth.
This next piece of advice might rock your world, so hold onto something: you’re allowed to be excited about your work in progress.
In fact, it’s encouraged that you do get excited. Fall in love with your characters! Cry over them when they’re sad, cheer for them when they’re winning. If a threat looms over the horizon, ride that suspense and use it to power the narrative.
Stephen King recommends in his book On Writing that your first draft should be written for yourself, meaning you are your own target audience. Write the book that you want to read. Make characters you’re invested in and craft plot devices that capture your intrigue. The real world can wait — use that first draft to energize your process.
You should be the biggest fan of your writing. There’s no guarantee that an audience will love your work. If you love your work instead, then at least one person’s a fan.
In addition, if you’re finding yourself bored by your project, that might be a good indicator that something isn’t working. It may be time to take a step back and reevaluate the project. Maybe the protagonist isn’t who you originally thought, or you need to switch up the point of view. Either way, you can reignite that spark.
So next time someone asks you what you’re working on, be honest with yourself. Don’t sell yourself short. Let them know your work in progress gets you hyped, and that passion may spread beyond your pages. You’re allowed to love what you’re writing.
is a writer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Graduating in May 2020 with a degree in English Literature with a Writing Emphasis, Ian writes comics, poetry, and scripts. He is currently an intern for The Brain Health Magazine and aims to work in the comic publishing industry. In his spare time, Ian plays Dungeons & Dragons, board games, and bass guitar.
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