Write for Joy

It’s been a long week. Sixty hours at work. Tons of new assignments. Screaming deadlines. One surgery in the family. Not much sleep. And when I get home from my writing job each night, I have to, well, write again. Somewhere in the middle of it all is some magazine that rejects a query, an editor that wants a revision, or an agent that says, with well-rehearsed rhythm, “This is not quite right for us.”

During a week like this I can easily succumb to wondering, “Why do I write?” And although there are several reasons why (see Why Writers Write and Should Never Stop Writing, June archive), today I write for one thing. Joy. The simple joy of writing propels me. The joy of writing gives me a sense of purpose. The joy of writing restores my perspective. And, it fuels a feeling of “fun.” Pure fun.

After a week like this, I forgot what fun feels like so I restore my perspective by sliding behind my laptop tonight and crafting just a few lines. I need to remind myself that in the midst of the chaos that surrounded me this week, I find solace in writing. By isolating ourselves for a few hours, writers can feel the joy that comes from reflecting on life, arriving at some truth, and crafting that truth into prose that will speak to the heart of others.

Isn’t that the essence of what every personal experience story is about—a writer, arriving at some truth, sharing that truth, and in some small way shedding light that inspires others? That is the mission of this blog, to provide insight, inspiration and encouragement to writers on the path to publication. It’s a long road, well-traveled, but not without peril. Let’s travel it together.

After all, the joy is not only in the writing, it’s in hoping the reader may find joy too.


The Writer’s Refuge blog is a place for writers, like you, to break away from your daily routine and for just a few minutes find insight, inspiration or simply a word of encouragement. Blog entries are posted once a week on Thursday.

Past blog entries are listed in the right navigation panel or in the monthly archive listing.

You may contact me at:  jcmchips1@yahoo.com.

Published in: on December 1, 2011 at 9:39 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Jim,

    Thanks for your work on “The Writer’s Refuge.” It’s a true source of inspiration.

    This post certainly resonates with me. In my opinion, joyful writing is produced by a combination of:

    1.) love for the writing craft itself and
    2.) a bedrock belief in the subject/content you’re writing about.

    I once read a book on the principles of storytelling by noted screenwriting author Robert McKee. He said that before a writer attempts a story, he/she must be confident in the story’s core idea. More precisely, a writer must believe “this is what life is really like.” I’ve found this to be a foundational truth of all of my writing. That includes the comedy writing I’ve done over the years. Comedy attacks one of life’s basic truths by exaggerating and twisting it humorously. But in the end, the writer believes “this is what life is really like,” The writer just exposes it under a different microscope. Of course, this principle applies to all forms of writing, from autobiographical, to fiction, to magazine articles, to academic essays. The writer tries to illuminate and express truth within a story. If we cannot connect with a truth in the story, the writing process feels arduous, and the eventual reader is bored with the subject matter too. A writer must make a personal connection with the story in order to produce it with joy. If not, perhaps the writer should move on to another project.

    Keep up the good work, Jim. Readers can feel the joy you derive from writing this blog.


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