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The difference between writing and WRITING

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

For the past week or so, unlike the several months before, I’ve been writing every day. Every single day, I’ve produced words in sentences and paragraphs and typed them into a Word document.

And it’s been mentally draining and exhausting.

Because I haven’t been writing fiction or anything fun like that. I’ve been writing and revising and rewriting bylaws and guidelines for a writing organization that’s changing its structure. This group has never had bylaws before, just a list of “guidelines” for membership parameters and expectations of behavior.

I think I may be close to the end with the bylaws document. It’s almost eight pages long, and the committee I’m working with keeps asking questions that lead to additional sections/parts being added, trying to think through every eventuality. The deadline for the project is today, but the idea of extending the deadline has already been broached.

I’ll confess that I got a little short with the other committee members late last night (via email), when lots of ideas were being thrown my way, but no offer of help with the new wording was offered. Of course, it only took me a few minutes this morning to write the new section and make the requested revisions elsewhere in the document, but still. It’s been a long process and I’m ready to be finished with it.

This is not the kind of “writing every day” I want to do again any time soon. While, yes, it was fun in the beginning to be able to use terms like ex-officio and in perpetuity and hereinafter and tons of shalls and thuses and therefores, the tedium of technical writing, especially when it’s for documents as important as the two I’ve been writing are, is mind melting.

I think that may be why just before midnight Sunday night, I had to sit up in bed (after being in it for over an hour), turn the lamp on, and grab the notebook I keep in my nightstand and jot down some ideas before I forgot them. Ideas not for the technical documents I’ve been working on, but ideas for three potential companion novellas to celebrate the fifth anniversaries of the releases of the three Ransome books in the next couple of years. (More on that in another post, maybe.)

Why did I get out of bed to write these ideas down instead of just hoping I’d remember them in the morning? Because having these ideas after days and days of applying the writing part of my brain to technical stuff, I finally felt like this:

instead of like the kid at the top of the post. Because it was a glimmer that I’d again have a chance to be WRITING instead of just writing.

Unfortunately, for me it’s been far too long since I’ve experienced the “cheesy-grin” feeling when writing, whether it’s technical or “creative.” For too long, between deadlines and then the pressure to publish because I needed the income to live on, writing was a chore. A job. Work.

While I know so many authors who make their living from writing fiction and still love most aspects of it, when it came to the point where every avenue of making a living had been taken from me other than writing, I didn’t just dread it, I came to hate it. I didn’t want to be doing it at all.

While I’m not quite to that point with the current technical writing project, I’m really looking forward to being finished with it. And I’m really hoping to be able to use that part of my brain/skill set for cheesy-grin WRITING here again soon.

Are there types of writing/WRITING that completely burn you out? What kind of writing/WRITING gives you that cheesy-grin feeling while you’re doing it?

  1. Debra permalink
    Wednesday, November 13, 2013 11:58 am

    I’d love to see Ransome Novellas!

    I also work with non-fiction quite a bit. Makes me long to get home to my fiction but then I’m often about as creative as mud. So, I write in the morning. I long for those moments when I make myself smile writing fiction. Oh, they are few and far between!


  2. Wednesday, November 13, 2013 12:32 pm

    Ransome novellas? Sign me up!

    My cheesy grin writing is SFR. If it’s “writing”, that means something is off in the scene or it’s out of order. Happened last week and when I switched things up it poured out. And I made myself crave a bacon cheeseburger…


  3. Lady DragonKeeper permalink
    Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:57 am

    Types of writing that burn me out are when it’s an assignment with a rapidly approaching deadline … The few times I’ve attempted writing fiction have been enjoyable, but it’s the brainstorming that I struggle with. =)
    Haha, I read through your blog post and then saw in the comments, “Ransome novellas.” I quickly rescan the page to see how I missed that! I think 2am is too late (early?) to be online …


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