Next in blog series… MY OPINION ONLY!
The questions: Write from a place of joy or from a love of what you read? Both are popular. Today alone I found this type of writer-ly theology being spouted from the screen. I do not disagree with it, but there is something to be said about the “write what you love to read” angle as well.
All writers were readers first. That is a given, I think. They might not read in the same language as I do, but for the most part, I believe writers started out their love of the written word from something that struck them as a reader. If you ask what their favorite books as children were they will give you a lot of insight.
I know that is true for myself.
So what is different from writing from a place of joy and writing from the love of reading? It’s complicated, but I will try to answer.
Which way is up?
- Writing from a place of joy would be akin to standing on the bank of a lake and watching squirrels chase each other. You feel happy, you love the scene, you want to share it.
- Writing what you love to read is just that. It can take the form of fan fiction or a blog post. It *maybe* shouldn’t be published, as that means you are taking someone else’s idea unless you put a whole new spin on it. (a different blog post for a different time)
- Penning from a place of joy can be a blog post too, as can many other things. I have done that many times.
- Inking from the love of reading can be perfectly fine if you know where someone else’s work ends and yours begins.
Putting out a piece based on a place of joy might even come first and writing from a love of a read after that. Depends on whose doing the plotting.
Write from a place of joy
How can you do this? Well, I am glad you asked. If this blog post had simply been about squirrels chasing each other around the park, I could have done that and moved on. But as a writer, we have to consider things like:
What does your character want? Is there anything in the way?
Are there stakes?
These are universal questions all writers ask about all characters in stories, but I think, if you are really loving what you are writing, it will be easier to answer. You love them. You know them. YOU create them.
The squirrels want to mate and build a nest but the potential to be hit by a car, attacked by an alligator, or another danger exists every day.
Simply put, I know, but you should give that some consideration when writing from a place of joy. If you were writing that story from a previous read, you might already know that squirrels are xx times faster than xxx. Or that they mate for only one season. That the gray squirrel and the red squirrel are very different. (I did not research these statements so don’t know if they are true!)
You see what I mean. The whole from a place of joy has more love and emotional attachments, whereas writing from a love of what you read has more involvement, more detail. It could be argued that writing from a place of joy is more literary in feel, in its nature, where writing from a love of reading takes another form.
Either way, writing anything is a matter of what you love and what you read. And it can easily be said that there are commonalities for each.
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