Monday, June 06, 2011

The Agony and Ecstasy of Writing

When you're writing, do you ever get that feeling of pure joy deep in your gut? Like this is what you're supposed to be doing with your life? Like this activity completes you?

This weekend, I felt that joy, that ecstasy. It was glorious.

If you haven't felt that joy in awhile, it's time to find it again.

Time to hit refresh. Time to reevaluate. Time to rediscover.

You won't always feel it. That's as it should be. There are days when the writing is hard and you'd rather chuck your manuscript into the trash icon on your computer. Days you wander around the house trying to figure out why you chose this profession when you could have been just another office drone (as an office drone myself, I laugh at the irony).

That's part of the process. But if you didn't have those days, you wouldn't know what that joy was all about. You wouldn't appreciate it. You wouldn't keep writing until you found that joy, that ecstasy, again.

Sometimes, we don't know what light is until we see darkness. We don't appreciate sunshine until it rains day after day. We don't marvel at those beautiful writing days until we have the really, really bad writing days.

It's agony, and it's ecstasy.

It's hot and cold.

It's good and bad.

And we need it all.


Today is the 67th Anniversary of D-Day. Please visit my World War II blog for a tribute to the individual men who made this day possible.


  1. Your words captured the emotions of writing: Yes, I know the joy, the ecstacy, but I also know getting stuck. Thanks for reminding me that the difficult times make the joyful times all the sweeter.

    I look forward to reading your post about D-Day. On that day, my mother lost almost every boy-type friend and acquaintance she grew up with.


  2. I know exactly what you mean. Writing can be our best friend or our worst enemy - in the space of five minutes. Sometimes the words flow and other times it's like pulling teeth.

    When our writing brings joy, we have to celebrate!

  3. Blogger's been a total pain just lately, but it finally let me in to comment.

    Just letting you know I've added you to the blog roll on the new blog. I'm doing it as I go along.

    Hope you're all ok. :-)

  4. D-Day! Thanks for the reminder!

    It's like our Christian walk, isn't it? We can't always have the immediate joy and ecstasy - not until we get to heaven. But when we do get a taste of it, it's impossible to not keep seeking more ...

  5. Great post, really says it all... :)))

  6. It's funny how having the bad parts makes the good parts all the better ... And I wouldn't trade any of it away. Wishing you many more writing days like you had this weekend :)

  7. Linda - You're welcome! And thanks for the lovely comment on the WW2 blog.

    Shirley - You're not kidding about those five minutes! It's amazing how fast it can change.

    Diane - Just left a comment on the new site...we're doing well here. :-)

    Margo - Absolutely!!! We need the rainy days in our Christian walk, too, to see how beautiful the sunny days are. :-)

    Anna - Thanks. :)

    Joanne - Hope you have some of those great writing days, too!

  8. Melissa, Joanne summed it up so well. The down days sure make the up days feel so much more wonderful. Every time I am on the brink of throwing in the towel, I rediscover the excitement, joy and passion for writing-and sewing too:)

  9. Well said. Writing involves so many ups and downs, but it's always worth it.

    They had D-Day services here today at out Cenotaph in the Parade (always featured in black/white film of the German Occupation).

  10. Valerie - Isn't that how it always works, though? Just when we're ready to give up, God gives us a reason to keep going!

    Debs - With the exception of the museums and WW2 reenactors, I think the day goes largely unnoticed on this side of the pond. Sad, really.

  11. I know that feeling--delicious:)

  12. Hi Melissa

    Yes, like Linda, I agree you captured there what it's all about.

    I know EXACTLY what you mean. And there's nothing quite like it when the feeling strikes.

    PS - thank you so much for your encouraging comments. They mean so much. x

  13. I'm trying to rediscovery the ecstasy part. Harder than I thought. But worth it.

  14. Yesterday, I jumped into edits on the 4th to last chapter...(see how I'm counting down?) Anyhow, it seemed to going well and then - WHAM, a completely new scene was required. As you say, keep writing until you find that joy - I'm hoping the ecstasy will come soon! ;-)

  15. Excellent point: we do need these moments to press forward when the writing is gruesome.

    I need more of these days:)

  16. I think you nailed it. Somedays the agony outweighs the ecstasy and its those days that separates the boys from the men, so to speak.

  17. Terri - Absolutely!

    Bluestocking - You're very welcome. :-)

    L.T. - After you've been away from it for awhile, I think it is a bit hard. But I am confident you'll find it soon!

    Talei - I've run into that problem a lot with my rewrites. Frustrating, for sure!

    Tamika - I need more of 'em, too.

    Tana - Agree. :-)

  18. If you don't know pain - you won't know joy.


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