I have found that creating characters and building stories based on their lives absolutely brings me joy. From figuring out a name to the car, they drive!
I had attempted to write a book several times over the years but always got discouraged. I don’t think I finished more than a few paragraphs on any story I wanted to pen. I don’t remember ever finishing an entire chapter!
Now that I'm working on the second journey in my series, I have finally figured out why! I was trying to force myself to write.
Seriously. That was the problem. Instead of starting with a smile and a little bit of joy, I kept starting with a stern expression. I was going at it like there was a national emergency, and I was the only one who could fix it by writing a book.
I had no joy. I made it a chore instead of a fun experience!
After a while, I started coming up with characters and storylines that made me smile. I didn’t try to force anything. I’d think of a chapter from out of nowhere at the most inopportune times. Like at doctor appointments or while driving!
I’ve learned to carry my iPad almost everywhere I go (to take notes)! And if I'm driving, I have the passenger take notes and send them my way.
Are you having trouble getting through your first chapter?
If the answer is yes, then I recommend doing what I did. I won’t say that I’m an expert – I am just a person who loves to write, and these are a couple things that help me along!
1. Keep it FUN.
Step away for a bit and decompress. Do something that brings you joy! Then tie that joy in with what you're working on.
If you enjoy baking, have your character bake something! What if you like to work on cars? Have your character working on a vehicle in your first chapter! Maybe taking a jog is your thing…yep, have your character jogging!
Tie in the joy you feel when doing what you love, and then get your character attuned to that joy.
2. Pick your primary setting with care.
I picked the Pensacola area because I love it. My family and I travel there quite often, and it never fails to bring me joy and happiness. I know the places to include in my journeys because I’m there a lot!
I’m working on Sylvia’s Journey, which has caused me to laugh a lot. It’s caused me to cry. It also caused me to get scared out of my wits one night when I was home alone. (Don’t worry, it’s not too scary, I’m just a big ole chicken)!
I write with a smile on my face and a bit of laughter in my heart!
I’m heading out today to meet and greet at the Riverside Mobile Library (keeping it FUN)! Giving the kids something to do during the summer is the BOMB! I have so much respect for everyone involved with this Mobile Library. We need one in every county, IMO.
Keep writing. Keep smiling. Keep loving life. And if you don’t, you need to start. At least with the smiling and loving life part! Haha
Me and my hubby - Pensacola Beach, Florida
I promise he had a good time, despite that mean mugging! HAHA