How to Recapture the Joy of Writing

If you read my December 17, 2018 blog post,, you know that I was considering giving up my ambition of writing and publishing a novel.

After much prayer, soul searching, reading some blogs and articles about writing – as well as reading many encouraging comments from my blog readers – I have decided to recommit to writing my southern historical novel.

Working title: The Spanish Coin OR The Doubloon

The working title of my book is The Spanish Coin, which refers to a gold Spanish coin – a doubloon – that shows up in a Carolina backcountry community in the 1760s. There is a murder, after which the coin is missing. Is there anyone in the small community who is not a viable suspect?

That’s the story I’ve been working on off and on for more than 10 years. I’m not getting any younger, so I’d really like to finish writing it. I would also love to get it published. That’s why I wanted to recapture my joy of writing.

Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Rewards

Several hours after posting my blog on December 17, 2018, I read an article that was just what I needed. The link to “How to Restore Your Love of Writing” is The article was written by Colleen M. Story, and it addressed much of the problem I wrote about on December 17, 2018.

In her blog post, Ms. Story explains that there are two kind of rewards writers seek: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic refers to the rewards the world gives us, while intrinsic refers to the rewards we get from within ourselves.

First, I needed to discern which type of rewards I wanted. Ms. Story offered several questions that I asked myself. Those questions led me to conclude that money would be great, but that’s not what is driving me. It is a sense of accomplishment that I seek.

What led me to start writing in the first place? It wasn’t money. Those who think, “I’ll be a writer and get rich” are setting themselves up for crushing disappointment. Some writers make the big bucks, but they are the exception.

What led me to start writing was an innate desire to put my thoughts on paper. I kept journals as a teenager and sporadically as an adult. I took a creative writing class in high school, but I never considered writing as a possible career.

Another blog post I found helpful

Several days later, I read the December 19, 2018 Writers in the Storm blog post: In it, Jenny Hansen lists her 10 favorite writing success tips from author Ray Bradbury. The five that resonated with me were the following:

            Do the work.

            Do what you love.

            Embrace your emotions.


            Get out of your own way.

And, of course, my blog readers inspired me

I received a number of comments about my December 17, 2018 blog post, and I took encouragement from each one of you.

Since my last blog post

I have started writing a short story set in colonial America. I’d like to publish a book of short stories set in colonial America – my favorite place and time in history.

Until my next blog post

I’ll try to take Ray Bradbury’s advice and get out of my own way.

I hope you have a good book to read. I’m reading If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating, by Alan Alda.

If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?, by Alan Alda

If you’re a writer, I hope you know why you’re writing. I hope writing gives you joy.

Thank you for reading my blog. You could have spent the last few minutes doing something else, but you chose to read my blog. I appreciate it! I welcome your comments.

Let’s continue the conversation.

Have you ever lost the joy you once had for an artistic endeavor, a favorite hobby or pastime, or your once much-enjoyed career? How were you able to recapture that joy?


11 thoughts on “How to Recapture the Joy of Writing

  1. Good for you, Janet! Sometimes you just need to read another writer’s perspective. I used to wonder why writers and other creative folk are prone to these bouts of waning commitment. Apparently, it’s all part of the process. Thank goodness we have a vast community of people who’ve experienced and overcome those nagging doubts and low points. I’m glad that you found the encouragement you needed. The beauty is that your courage and wisdom will likely inspire someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Kit. Since writing is a solitary endeavor, I suppose it makes the low points seem worse than they really are. It was the online writing community that helped pull me out of my time of self doubt. I love your last sentence! I hadn’t even thought about the possibility that someone could be encouraged by my experience. That’s ironic, since the purpose of my blog when I started it was so other aspiring writers could take courage from my journey.


  3. Well, Janet, you survived the desire to quit. I suppose even now in the future that desire will return from time to time.Writers better be sure they selected the right subject to write about since if the book is successful they will be thinking and talking about for many years, and how unpleasant it would be to do that about a book you didn’t like. But you love your subject, and that’s good

    I have never thought of not writing anymore, but I can identify with that dilemma. I was a serious middle distance runner in the past, and that is an enterprise that is full of physical pain. Standing at the staring line waiting for the gun to be shot I would wonder why in the world I was subjecting myself to such pain. But the next day I’d be back at practice doing my best to do my bast in the next (painful) race.

    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks, David. Yes, the desire to write that novel is back. I cannot imagine being any kind of runner, so my hat’s off to you for your past experience with middle distance running. It’s a new year and time for new beginnings.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.