Writing Joy

Few writers have become so joyful from their created work that they have no reservations about sharing it with someone. It is almost a teeth pulling to stop editing, stop revising, stop adding to my stories. The work is a part of you because you spend so much time with it. So, when it goes for editing and review, it feels like sending your child into the cruel world. While I do not mind critiques or rewrites, I have met authors who absolutely have a fit when work returns to them for changes. I embrace the changes as a chance to make things better for the reader experience.

Changes are not new to me as every day I am a little different than I was the prior day. I have learned something, I slept more or less, I have different attitudes, or maybe feel a little more upbeat than others. However, I have to remind myself to be true to the character I am writing. That character does not have to eat, or sleep, or change at all. They can remain the same in looks, in style, in attitude until I create a circumstance resulting in a change in their attitude, style, or in perception of their surroundings.

It is a powerful feeling to be in control of the imaginary people inside my story. I can make them feel joy, sorrow, fear, jealousy, and other emotions that have resembled my own. I can also give them feelings I have not had but have observed in other real people.

Joy is an emotion that is most difficult for me to write about. In children the joy lasts longer and creates a focus of contentment because of the novelty of the thing bringing joy. Adults exposure to the world and experiences make it more difficult to get really excited about things and events. I have hardly observed joy in adults without perceiving a bit of confusion or quick loss of excitement because the experience is not new to them.

Writing itself is a joy to me because each experience is different. Each sentence, each concept, every single interaction between characters is new in that moment. While the scene may have been written before by another writer with different characters and different circumstances, it is new for me in that moment. It is a challenge to work out the pieces of every story I write like a new puzzle. It requires an exploration of what could be instead of what already is. This for me is a joy that registers not only on my face, but in my heart.

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