Thursday, November 5, 2009

If it ain't fun then don't do it

If it ain’t fun, don’t do it

Someone told me once, “If it isn’t fun then don’t do it.”

What a terrific life philosophy. Not because absolutely everything can or will be fun, because let’s face it, paying bills is not fun, taking the trash to the curb is not fun, cleaning the cat litter is not only not fun, but it’s stinky. We cannot make everything fun, but the things, activities we choose to do or participate in are things we can and should make enjoyable.

If you are going to stress yourself out in order to have a good time or to please someone else then guess what? That is not fun. That is pressure and painful.

I used to take vacations where I would plan the trip from beginning to end. One day, I decided that did not work. Why? I realized that every time a vacation was planned things did not go off as intended. There was always some kind of monkey wrench thrown into the mix and I or someone else would end up disappointed. For a while, I did not take vacations because it seemed stuff always went wrong so why bother.
One day, I woke up and decided to take a vacation. I needed a vacation. It was a spur of the moment decision. I picked a place, made the reservations, and was off the next week. Do you know that I never had so much fun?

Wanna know the secret?

The secret is that I went on vacation to have fun. I had no other expectations other than just enjoying the excursion. If it rained, who cared, I would find something to do. If some place I wanted to visit was closed, who cared, I would visit another day or some other place. If we ate cheeseburgers every day because there was only one restaurant within walking distance, who cares, I would pretend they were steaks or whatever. They really were the best burgers!

So now, go to everyday life. Why would the same rule not apply?

This week is the first week of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). For 30 days, people write as many words as they can with a goal of 50,000 words, which equals a short novel. That is a lot of words in a short period of time. The idea is not to stress the participants out, but to motivate writers to write a story bottled up inside. Is it supposed to be perfect? Heck no. Will it be a finished novel in 30 days? Probably not. Then why do it?

Because it is supposed to be fun. For 30 days, you have a reason that you may not give yourself to write any other time of the year. It is incentive to go sit and type that long-awaited story that is sitting deep in your soul and just bubbling to come out.

Unfortunately, many writers get upset, frustrated, stressed when the story doesn’t go the way they wanted or expected, or life interferes with their plan to meet the daily word count goal and that throws all the fun out the window and many give up.
Wait! Why is it you signed up for NaNoWriMo? Because you thought it would be fun. Let it be fun. Let it be fun by giving yourself permission to just write. Give you story the ability to flow out of you in whatever word count it has on that day whether in hours or in fifteen minutes between loads of laundry or boring work meetings. Do not give up and walk away. Finish it. Even when the 30 days are over, write those words and put “The End” on that last page.

Above all, if it ain’t fun, don’t do it.


Maurice Williams November 5, 2009 at 8:49 AM  

Thanks. I needed to read this because I was feeling so discouraged by my 222 words. Focusing on fun is the best way to go.

Denise November 5, 2009 at 9:23 AM  

Maurice - I am so glad this helped you focus.

Have fun and if you need a push just shout out. We're all there.


Anonymous November 5, 2009 at 11:23 AM  

Denise -- how true. Why did we start writing in the first place? It was fun. It was fun seeing our characters develop before our eyes, the plot details worked out, seeing the words, The End. Whether participating in NaNoWriMo or not, all us writers need to remember to have FUN when we sit down to work on our stories. Thanks for the reminder and HAPPY WRITING!

Gina Leuci

Denise November 5, 2009 at 11:47 AM  

Thanks, Gina.
Good to remember writing is fun.

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