The fun of writing

I’ll admit it… writing is hard. Like, really hard.

But I’ll let you in on a secret. Some of the hardest things in life are also the most fun and the most fulfilling. Just ask Sean White, the world-class snowboarder who has won both Olympic and X-Games gold medals. Or ask Alex Honnold, the climber who has conquered locations like Yosemite’s Half Dome. Or even ask someone like Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook.

I’d bet dollars to donuts that those guys each think they have the best job in the world. They have fun every day when they show up to work. And they work hard, all the time; much harder than it looks like from those of us who just look at how much fun they’re having.

What is fun?

But what is fun, really? It’s putting in enough effort to make something look effortless. It’s being fully committed to what you’re doing in a way that makes other people sure that you’re exactly the kind of person who should be doing it. It’s developing the skills over time to take you farther than you ever dreamed possible when you first started out. And usually, it’s interactive–we rarely have fun by ourselves.

  • You have to be passionate, knowing that what you’re working toward is what you want more than anything else you could be doing.
  • You have to practice (a lot!), sometimes figuring out what works and what doesn’t by “brute force” or trial and error.
  • You have to be willing to keep learning, because sometimes what you know will get in the way of what you need to know.
  • You have to always be pushing things to the next level, because once you’ve figured this one out and it’s easy for you, it’s really not fun anymore.
  • You have to connect with people who are either on the same journey as you, or who are on a related, complimentary journey; people looking for someone they can commiserate with, be encouraged by, and learn from.

In short, you have to get outside your comfort zone. Because, let’s face it, being comfortable is safe, but it’s rarely actually fun or fulfilling.

But wait, you might say, what about having fun doing something passive, like watching movies? We call that fun, but really it isn’t. It’s entertaining which isn’t the same thing. Real fun takes real effort. The actual fun in watching a movie often comes afterwards, when you’re picking the plot, the acting, the wardrobe, and the cinematography apart with your friends.

Have fun writing

It sounds counter-intuitive, but I didn’t start having fun as a writer until I decided to embrace the difficulty and really started working at it.

If you like the idea of being a writer, and are ready to put in the effort to make it really fun, I want to encourage you to check out How To Think Sideways (affiliate link). It’s a comprehensive course on fiction that will take you from planning and writing, all the way through preparing for publication. It’s available now, but it will be going away later this month as it’s creator, Holly Lisle, prepares for a major website restructuring.

I believe wholeheartedly in Holly’s methods, and HTTS has made a huge change in the quality of my writing, and (more importantly) the fun I have writing.

Before Holly closes the class, I’ll let you know a little more about my experience in her class. And I’ll also let you in on a few bonuses if you decide to order her class through my link. But for now I’ll just say that I wouldn’t be the writer I am without How To Think Sideways and the community that has grown up around Holly’s classes.

I’ll be going through How To Think Sideways again, and I hope you decide to join me!

Note: links on this page are affiliate links. If you make purchases on the sites linked to, I may receive compensation.

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