Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” We all love to write or we wouldn’t be able to handle this fast growing and crazy industry, but do you love what you write. I’m talking about if you love your writing. Most authors experience times when they don’t like their own writing, at least I hope that’s true because I’ve been there. The question is, are you writing what you love?
There is more to you then being a writer. What is it that makes you smile? What do you do when you’re not in front of the keyboard or on Twitter? For me, the answer is dogs. I have always loved dogs. I have never not had a dog in my life. Many of you put up with me talking about my dog Oscar on this blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc. And that’s probably not going to change. I’m crazy about that dog. I mean, look at his picture. This is seventy-pound Oscar curled up on the couch surrounded by blankets. Maybe I should have named him Linus! Back to my point; after a conversation about dogs with Bob Mayer at one of his Warrior Writer Workshops (I highly recommend these) I decided to write a book on dogs. To be even more specific, the book is about caring for dogs with special needs, since Oscar has epilepsy.
Was it a good thing for me to take on another major writing project while still working hard on my young adult novel? I say yes. I love to write but it has been a wonderful thing to combine two loves of mine. It just feels good and I’m so happy that my first published book is about something that means so much to me (not that the YA doesn't and you'll hear why in a moment.)
For me it has been a breath of fresh air to be able to switch off from the two projects. While writing a young adult epic fantasy sometimes my head needs a break from running and designing a new world. During moments like that it was nice to switch over to work on my dog book. Both projects are completely different in tone and style. This gave me the needed break that I needed from the YA and the opportunity to hopefully really make a difference.
You can take writing about your passions to another level. I have. When writing fiction, write something that you love into the story. It will personalize it for you and keep you in love with the story. Yes, a writer can easily fall out of love with their own story after endless hours of working on it. In my YA you probably won’t be surprised to hear that Oscar has a role. Yep, I wrote in my dog. I’m an author, I can do things like that! For me, this makes the story much more exciting when I’m working on it at 2 a.m.
I know, I know. “Write a piece of me into the story? But if someone doesn’t like it then they aren’t liking a piece of me.” I once heard that concern and my answer is simple, get over it. As a writer you will not please everyone. You must have tough skin because there will be agents, publishers and readers out there that will not like your work. I accepted this before anyone looked at my work and this is why I understand the importance of making me happy. You can only control your own happiness, so write what you love. Put your happiness and anything that makes you happy into your story. Write with passion. If you do, you will be a happier writer and a better writer.
Do you write with passion? Have you written a non-fiction about an interest that you love? Do you combine your interests into your fiction? Share it in a comment below.
I’m excited to announce that “Caring for Your Special Needs Dog,” published by Who Dares Wins Publishing will be out a week from today, May 18! I’m really excited about this project and can’t wait to share it with you all. A percentage of profits from this book will go to The Texas A&M Foundation to the benefit of the Neurology Section, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinarian Medicine. Again, I’m following my passions.
If you haven't, join the Love Revolution for writers an follow the hastag created by Social Media expert Kristen Lamb, #MyWANA. This is a great way to connect with fellow writers, share information and ask questions. It can be hard to juggle writing and managing social media but we are not alone!