In this episode I ask (and answer) a question that I get asked all the time: “Do you love writing?” If you asked every author you know this same question, the answer may very well surprise you. How would you answer the question?
In this episode, you'll learn:
- Whether I love writing
- George R. R. Martin's (the creator of Game of Thrones) answer to the question
- The real reason that I'm a novelist
- The importance of figuring out what you love about writing
- What happens when you stop writing
Links mentioned during this episode:
Write Your Book in a Weekend: https://coachcandaceduff.com/bookwritingweekend
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Transcript of Do you Love Writing? S.2 Ep. 3 of the Candace Duff Show
Hey there, this is your girl Candace Duff coming at you all the way live from a sunny South Florida. Today, we're going to be talking about a topic that's, that's very near and dear to my heart. And that has to do with: Do you love writing?.
You know, it's really funny. When you're a published novelist, people come up to you all the time and ask: “Do you love writing? You must love writing. I mean, you must be so happy that you can write full time, or if you can write full time or you must want to write full-time or you must love the process.” And it's really funny because the guy who wrote Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin, he actually said something that resonated with me quite a bit. He said: “I hate writing, but I love having written.” And a lot of us writers actually feel that way. I mean, there are a lot of writers who love to write, but there are a lot of writers who don't love the writing process itself, even if they're very good at it.
I mean, if you look at the reviews for my books, apparently I'm pretty good at writing. Right? But I don't love the process per se. To me, the actual writing part is hard. I mean, it's hard on the mind. It's exhausting. I sometimes feel like I'm falling into a trance or halfway falling asleep when I'm writing. It feels like work. But I do really love having written and I'm not just talking about the accolades.
I'm not just talking about good reviews or high ratings or whatever the case may be. I love . . . the satisfaction I get from finishing a book. I love, more importantly, what other people get out of it. How much people enjoy it. How much my readers are able to transport themselves as a result. So, I do love having written.
I like having that end product that I could use to entertain people and transport them and take them away from the strains and stresses of their everyday lives. I will never forget that I got an email one day from somebody – from a reader who said: “I really love your work. I was going through a really hard time – one of the hardest times of my life. You know, I had people who died on me and I was taking care of, you know, family members, and, you know, reading your book allowed me to escape. It allowed me to get away from my troubles for that, for that amount of time. And for that, I thank you.” And I’ve got to tell you, I almost cried because that's why I write.
I write to be able to allow other people to escape. That's why I read fiction. And so I don't necessarily love the process, but I love having written. And I think it's important for every writer to figure out, especially a writer who actually has readers who are waiting for their stuff, to try to figure out what they love about it.
Some people love the process. Some people love, actually, the writing itself. It transports them or gives them an escape. It makes them feel good or takes them to another plane. And some people actually like writing with, with a group or writing with a community or writing by themselves. It gives them the space they need and allows them to express their creativity.
Some people like having written, like I do. You know, entertaining people or informing people, or just having gotten that work done. Some people feel a compulsion to write and enjoy it because it allows them to deal with that compulsion. So, whatever you do, whether it's writing or practicing law, you need to figure out what it is you love about the process so you can do more of that. You can use that to get you through to the finish line with whatever that might be. Whether it's a brief, an assignment, a trial, a case, or a book, you’ve got to figure out what it is that you love about what you do every day. Because when you do what you love, it doesn't feel like work.
Even though I might not love the process of writing, I do love getting to the finish line. I do love putting that story out there. I do love entertaining people and so I'm going to keep writing.
It's funny because I haven't really published a book myself since 2016 and I looked up and it's 2022. What the heck happened? Where did those years ago?
I'm going to be publishing several books this year, some of which I've already finished. But a friend of mine said to me the other day, she said: “You know, you're so talented.” I'm not telling you this because I want to toot my own horn. This is what she said. She said: “You're so talented that when you don't write, you're actually depriving other people of your stories – of that escape.” And I thought about it. And it's true. If you're really good at something, and there are things about that thing that you do that you love, and you don't do it for whatever reason, then you’re depriving others of the ability to enjoy what you do, whatever that means.
So, we need to think about that because you don't want to deprive the marketplace of what you do – of what they love, because then you're depriving yourself of income. You're depriving yourself of satisfaction. You're depriving yourself of that feeling of doing some good. And so, you’re depriving them, which is like the biggest crime of all, of being able to benefit.
So, it's important to figure out what you love about what you do and how to get yourself through it so you can actually provide what they love.
This episode is actually sponsored by my weekend course. Write Your Book in a Weekend, my weekend workshop. We get ready for the workshop beforehand, by figuring out what we're going to be writing. We do an outline and make sure we're ready to write. We make sure you have a plan for dictating your book. And then I teach you how to become an old pro at book dictation that weekend. And you write with a book coach and with 20 other like-minded individuals. I keep the classes relatively small so that I can give you the attention you need as you get your book done.
And when you get stuck, I'm there for you. And when you need to go into a private room with me, because you need some help, I'm there with you. And we're writing our books together and we wind up with manuscripts that we can hold in our hot little hands at the end of the weekend. It's one of my favorite workshops.
Anybody who's ever participated in that workshop loves it. They've given me so many great comments and they feel like they've gotten so much done. Most people leave the workshop inspired, happy, and ready to move on to the next level, which is revising their books.
That's all folks for today. If you enjoyed this podcast, then make sure you sign up wherever you listen to podcasts. Whether you watch me on YouTube, or you can sign up on Spotify or Google podcasts, or, Apple podcasts – whatever the case may be. Make sure you sign up so that you never miss an episode. We'll be talking about all kinds of writing related themes and also just life themes. Take care.