by Karen E. Hoover
I reached a point the last few weeks where I've completely run out of ideas. I felt like a sponge that had been squeezed dry and forgotten in the sun until every ounce of creativity was baked away. So, instead of trying to write about what helps me to write, I thought I'd celebrate somebody else's creativity instead: my six year old son, Robert.
About a month ago, his school had what they call "The Night of a Thousand Stars". All of the students above third grade wrote a book for display, including illustrations, and the younger kids did it as an optional activity. Well, my little guy did it. He wrote a book about Scooby Doo and Space Aliens. His teacher typed it for him as he told her the story, and he drew all the pictures and made the cover. I have never seen anyone so proud of a book. On awards night, he received a ribbon saying he is an author. He uses it as a bookmark for everything he reads now. He walks around the house saying, "I'm an “Arthur”". It tickles me to death, and I'm so pleased that he has found the joy of writing.
The thing he is teaching me here is how important it is to celebrate every accomplishment in our writing and recognize every stage of our development. I think we as artists get down on ourselves too often and don't see the joy in being a simple "Arthur."
So, let's remember to celebrate each word, every paragraph, the finished chapters, and the blessed "The End" when we are done. Take joy in the edits and love your story. Remember the joy you felt when you first began to write? Cling to it and let it carry you through the hard times. Isn't that why we started to write in the first place? I did, and seeing my son's excitement over a simple book has made me understand what a blessing books are.
So, whether you are writing a children's book, romantic suspense, or anything in between, remember to look beyond the imperfection of your work and do it because you love it. Find the joy.