Writing For Joy

The most important thing a writer will ever learn is to be true to herself. Yes, we write for our readers. We write to improve our work. Our editors, both freelance and the ones that work in publishing houses, give us notes to make our books better. All that is true. And none of it will help us unless we write for ourselves first.

I am re-reading THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand. I go this this book for inspiration, and I always find it.  Ms. Rand says in her introduction that the novel is a touchstone…it has definitely been that for me since I discovered her work fourteen years ago. I’ll give one quote from it here, adapted from the original subject, architecture, to what I love, writing.

Writing “…is not a business, not a career, but a crusade and a consecration to a joy that justifies the existence of the earth.”

I return to my own touchstones, this novel and the work of Mary Renault, to remind myself of that. In the midst of working for and with others, we must keep a part of our work for ourselves alone, to bring us joy. My joy in finding my own voice is why I keep doing this. It’s what kept me in the chair for all the years  I did not make a sale, when I was told that it simply could not be done. It can be done. THE QUEEN’S PAWN and TO BE QUEEN  are proof.  And as I begin to dive into my work on the next novel, QUEEN OF FIRE, I remind myself of why I am doing this in the first place. I am doing it because I love it. For my own joy.

7 Responses to “Writing For Joy

  • Stuart MacAllister
    9 years ago

    I couldn’t agree more – writing is something that is a part of me and I love to do it. I hope that my work becomes good enough to be published and that other people will enjoy it too.

  • Christy
    9 years ago

    Stuart, I have no doubt you will be published. And the joy is its own reward… but you know that already.

  • Wonderful post, Christy! Writing for joy and integrity. This reminds me of my favorite Kahlil Gibran quote about work: “Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.” – Mary Grace (“M.G.”) Bertulfo

  • Wonderful post, Christy! Writing for joy and integrity. This reminds me of my favorite Kahlil Gibran quote about work: “Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.”

  • Beautiful post, Christy. Aspiring authors like me really need to read inspiring words such as this…thank you. 🙂

  • Christy
    9 years ago

    Mary Grace, thank you for the beautiful quote! I hope your own writing brings you joy…:)

  • Christy
    9 years ago

    Michelle, I am happy to inspire you…that means a lot. It is good for us to remember even as we work to sell our writing and to make it better, that we do it all for love and joy.

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