Joys of Writing

19 Jul

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of joy is:

1a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight b : the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety

2: a state of happiness or felicity: bliss

3: a source or cause of delight

I’ve often thought that the abilities and talents given to human beings are as many as the grains of sand along the sea shore (almost). Many talents, yes, and perhaps just as diverse. With these assorted gifts comes a certain amount of joy and accomplishment, or otherwise we’d not pursue them. I feel honored to have been a creator of sentences and stories as most of you reading are.

I’d have to say that there are many moments of joy in a writer’s life. When a person decides he can compile an essay, poem, song, short story, newspaper or magazine article, is monumental and to actually finish the piece makes for a very rewarding feeling. It is also a joy to learn you have a gift of sorts. It takes some spunk to ask someone to read what you’ve written. When a writer gets encouragement, it causes him to want to show it to someone else, and then finally submit it for publication. Even more, when you write a book length piece you have a sense of achievement in a category all its own.

It’s a joy to find other writers at a writer’s group. It’s amazing to be in a group of people who share the same gift and goals as yourself. It’s a joy to find a critique partner, or two, to help you figure out what your story needs. The rewarding feeling of finishing a work-in-progress transfers into hope as you wait for some sort of word from an editor, if not a sale then an encouraging word to make you write more, work harder.

During July, my dog turns one, my husband and I signed for our house last year at this time, and I got my first call from a publishing company five years ago. My first book Maya’s Gold was sold.

My husband says I make a joyful noise when I make a book sale, a sound that he’s never heard from me before. He said it makes him realize how important writing is to me. Of course a first sell is a happy time, yet it’s mixed with fears for the next steps to be taken, such as sales, marketing, signings, and getting out that next book in a timely matter. It’s hard to hold onto joy amongst all of this.

It’s a joy to see your new cover, usually. It’s downright blissful to see your name on the cover. It’s an unbelievable joy to actually hold the book in your hand, and put it in your book case. It’s a joy when you meet your editor or publisher face to face.  It’s a joy when you meet a fan, especially when they come to your signings and ask for your newest release. It’s a joy to have one of your books chosen for a local book club reading.

Alas there are more joys, too. Joys I know nothing about because my journey is not yet complete. How about a book that really sells and/or your name on the New York Times best seller list? What a joy it would be to sell your work to a big publishing company. Perhaps then and only then you will feel like you’ve really made it. How rewarding that would be.

Shall we all get back to the writing business and take these steps of joy, one at a time. Together, with help and encouragement along the way. Yet, at the same time remember this quote by Ben Sweetland, “Happiness is a journey…not a destination.”


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11 responses to “Joys of Writing

  1. johannaharness

    July 19, 2012 at 5:47 AM

    Yes. Happiness is a journey. So very true.

    • Mary Vine

      July 19, 2012 at 7:58 AM

      And what a wonderful journey. Thanks, Johanna.

  2. Liz Fredericks

    July 19, 2012 at 6:34 AM

    It’s very important to take stock of joyful things – small and large. Every writer has to draw upon her joy as much as sorrow in persevering in what can be lonely. Thank goodness for the sense of community in writing – such a wonderful siblinghood. 😉

    • Mary Vine

      July 19, 2012 at 7:59 AM

      Perhaps one of the best feelings is when we actually do take time to write. Then we know it is a complete day. Thanks, Liz.

  3. Janis McCurry

    July 19, 2012 at 7:12 AM

    Just yesterday, I said to a co-worker, I found joy in teeny, tiny, things. In this case, two different reports came up with the same numbers. Bliss. I was joyful.

    • Mary Vine

      July 19, 2012 at 8:01 AM

      If you’re experiencing joy at work, then you’re right where you need to be. Thanks, Janis.

  4. Peggy Staggs

    July 19, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    Finding joy in something is a great gift. I think you have to look for or it won’t find you.

    • Mary Vine

      July 19, 2012 at 8:02 AM

      Very well said, Peggy. Thanks for adding this.

  5. marsharwest

    July 19, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Good post, Mary. Thanks for the reminder to be joyful about our steps along this journey of writing. And yes, Peggy, we have to look for it, but we also have to recognize it. You know how it is when you’ve lost weight according to the scales, but your head says you’re still heavy. Appreciating where we are on the journey is a gift as well as a joy.

  6. Mary Vine

    July 19, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Very good addition, Marsha. Sometimes I think of it as a bank account. The good stuff is adding to the balance, the hard stuff takes away from the balance. So, yes, we do need to pay attention to the good times, things, so we are not depleted.

  7. Lynn Mapp

    July 21, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Well said. “Happiness is the journey…”, yet, the journey can bring unbearable sorrow as well.


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