Dear Writer-Friends,

I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Joyful Writing Unlocks Your Superpower

Joyful Writing
By Susan Kaye Quinn

When you write for joy, you’ll be surprised how hard-working you become.

A Short Story
In January 2014, I made a calendar for the year of all my writing objectives. Every week was color coded for the project I would be working on. (I’m just a wee bit of a planner.) The calendar quickly got buried under homework papers, notes, and the detritus that fills my unkempt house. When I finished a novel, I unearthed the calendar only to discover… I was two days ahead of schedule!

I floated on a blissful cloud of happy, then dove into the next novel and wrote with abandon for two days. I was incredibly productive.

I checked the calendar again, proud of my progress, only to discover… I was a month behind!

I had been looking at the wrong month.

I crashed down into a momentary deep, dark well of depression. Writing slammed to zero all that day. And the next. Then I realized how profoundly my mood affected my productivity. How, when I was in a place of joyful happiness with my work, I was insanely productive. It was exactly when I let go of the productivity hamster wheel, that I soared through clouds of creative productivity.

Joy Begets Creativity

This affirms a core belief I have about creative work: that our best stuff comes when we are most in touch with the joy of the work itself. This is not to say writing isn’t hard: plot points will vex us; character motivations will resist us; and the very words themselves will torment us as they elude our grasp.

But creative work is inherently life-giving. The outcome of creative work, once you beat through the hard, emotion-wrenching part, is an intrinsically rewarding experience. There's nothing that can beat the feeling when you birth something entirely new into the world. Am I right? Isn’t this why you write in the first place? That high… personally, I’ve been addicted to it from Day One. It’s why I had to find a way to make writing a career, because any days spent not writing were an agony to me.

Live that joy, breathe it in, and let it loosen the words so that they flow from your fingers... and unlock the superpower of your productivity in the process.

Coming soon: the Third Edition of the
Indie Author Survival Guide (Crafting a Self-Publishing Career 1)
Second Edition is available now

The Guide should be read in tandem with
For Love or Money (Crafting a Self-Publishing Career 2)

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1 comment:

  1. Susan,
    This so hits home with me. Its all too easy to get caught up in production plans and publishing schedules as an "Indie Firster," but the joy and the passion from writing (which for me, needs to partly spring from also reading things that jazz and inspire me) are the indeed the motivating heart of the process.

    Thank you! I needed to hear this today, in a big way.


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