Zel Update: Dedication Revelation

You’ve seen those people. Maybe you even are one of those people. The ones who have a passion and work toward bringing that passion to other people, often sharing their progress through blogs or social media or other things that you stalk, watching as it just seems so easy for them to get so much done.

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people–the people that are so dedicated to what they do. But it seems like I never reach that point with my writing, or, really, with anything else. In fact, most of the time, I don’t even want to open up my novel, let alone write in it.

Well, on Monday I had a little revelation on how they do it. You see, lately I’ve been having troubles writing in my Zel novel. I hardly write in it, and when I do, I’m forcing myself through until I can say, “I’ve written x amount of words, now I can be done.”

And on Monday, it just came to me: the reason behind why those people can be so dedicated, and why I didn’t want to write in my novel. I started writing when I had this thought, and here is what I wrote about it.

The key to being productive is not in words or time or amounts or how well something is written.

It’s in how well you enjoy it. It’s in those silly scenes that have no purpose but make you laugh, and those deep, emotional scenes where you touch a part of your characters’ hearts that you’ve never seen before. It’s in that love that makes you come back to the story again and again and again.

So don’t box yourselves in with rules and thoughts that your writing has to be good. It doesn’t! It has to be you, and if it’s pure you, it will be good, because you are good. It will be unique, because you are unique. And it’ll be just the slightest bit weird, because aren’t we all a little bit weird?

But that weirdness, that quirkiness, that’s what draws us in and makes us relate. That’s where our love of the story comes in, our love of the characters and the plot and all the aspects of the book — from an original love of writing it.

So love it. Don’t say it has to be good, say it has to be you, because you are the best thing that could ever happen to your novel. You’re the only one who can write it your way.

Throw away anything you don’t like. If it doesn’t make you excited, or make you itch to write the story, throw it out! Make something new up and replace it with excitement and happiness.

Yes, your novel will be a tangled mess of plot strings and holes and half-finished characters, but it’ll be a tangled mess that you will love.

And that is the most important thing.

That’s the secret–love! So simple, so pure, and yet…somehow not so easy. I’ve been losing sight of loving my novel, instead worrying about needing to write enough words every day, or making sure my characters are portrayed right, or making sure it’s actually good.

I’ve stopped focusing on love, and so instead of growing to love this novel, I think I’ve grown away from loving it. Loving someone, or something, is a choice more than a reaction. You don’t just love someone automatically, you have to spend a lot of time trying to get to know them and befriend them before love can be cultivated. I’m sorry to break it to you, all you Disney fans, but love at first sight desn’t actually exist.

Because of my lack of effort on trying to love my Zel novel, right now I honestly don’t love it. For some reason, even though I’ve written things that when I look back on them are really good, I didn’t end up loving them. I still don’t really love Zel and Cren very much. I don’t love the setting or the plot or the characters. It’s all just me trying to remember why I loved writing so much.

Bu the great thing is that it’s not to late for me to learn how to love this novel. I only have 30,000 words written, so there’s at least 50,000 words to go. I have time to become so infatuated with this novel that I can’t help but tell everyone about it.

On Monday, after I realized this, I went to my Zel novel and wrote a scene. A really silly, short scene, with a conversation between Zel and Cren that really amused me. One of the lines nearly made me giggle out loud (and I would’ve, if there weren’t other people in the room), and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed while writing. Maybe a snicker once or twice to myself, but never this urge to giggle because I thought something was actually funny.

I may not use it later on, but it’s the embodiment of the point I’m trying to get across. It was my writing and my really bad humor, and I enjoyed it so much. Because of that, I now truly love that scene.

So now it’s time for me to stop worrying about all the things my Zel novel needs to be, and just write it for what it isand for it wants to become. I think the final result will be well worth my effort.

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27 thoughts on “Zel Update: Dedication Revelation

  1. queenmelainiemerker March 16, 2016 / 5:01 PM

    OHHHH. I’ve gotta keep this open next to the tab with my novel, gosh. I’ve realized parts of that, but not the whole of it, so this is really helpful. Thanks for this post.

    Like

    • Lana March 16, 2016 / 6:52 PM

      Yay, I’m glad it’s helping you! 😀

      Like

  2. Kellyn Roth March 16, 2016 / 7:14 PM

    I was reminded of a scene in Phineas and Ferb where Linda Flynn-Fletcher, the boys’ mother, is taking a online knitting quiz. The first question is “What is the first ingredient in knitting a sweater?” She says, “Oh, I know this one! Love! *beep* What do you mean wool?!” *laughs*

    I’m sorry. That’s what I thought of when I was reading this. 😛

    Anyway, you made a great point. But my problem is I love my story too much … I talk about all my characters as if they’re real people who I can’t change if I want to … and I talk about my story like an unchangeable series of events … but I think sometimes I have tried to write stories that I had no enthusiasm for, too, and it never worked.

    Like

    • Lana March 18, 2016 / 11:14 AM

      Haha, really? That’s funny.

      Well…I don’t think you love them too much. Actually, you were one of the amazingly dedicated people I thought about while I was writing this post, hehe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kellyn Roth March 18, 2016 / 3:54 PM

        *blushes* Ah ….

        My mom says I’m unhealthily obsessed. 😉 😛

        Like

      • Lana March 19, 2016 / 12:51 PM

        Well, I think it’s a good unhealthy obsession. (That doesn’t even make sense, does it?) I wish I was that unhealthily obsessed, hehe…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kellyn Roth March 19, 2016 / 6:53 PM

        Well, there’s really a lot of things I should be doing … that I’m not … but perhaps, someday, you’ll be able to become as unhealthy as me! 😉

        Like

      • Lana March 21, 2016 / 9:06 PM

        Oh yay, I’d love to be that unhealthy! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kellyn Roth March 22, 2016 / 9:28 AM

        Oh, you probably are. I tend to exaggerate my unhealthiness. Makes me feel better about myself. 😉

        Like

      • Lana March 22, 2016 / 5:57 PM

        Haha, well, I think we already discussed in some other comment somewhere about how we both eat unhealthily, so that makes us unhealthy in all areas of life! *high fives*

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Christine Therese March 17, 2016 / 11:11 AM

    Thanks for writing this article, because as much as I would try to admit I don’t need it, I do :3

    Like

    • Lana March 18, 2016 / 11:11 AM

      You’re welcome! I’m glad it’s helpful.

      Like

  4. Morgan @ studiesincharacter March 22, 2016 / 5:23 PM

    I think there’s a little more to it than that, but that’s a good basis for it.

    I say that because… well. I love Oracular. But somedays (most days), I also hate it.
    And even though I love it, I still procrastinate from it more than just about anything else. So love isn’t the only thing to it. 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration, is the saying, and it’s pretty accurate, I think.

    That being said, doesn’t matter how much you force yourself to do it, yeah, you have to love it. SO WORK ON LOVING ZEL AND CREN.

    The other day, I was doing something, and my dad was like, “Is that schoolwork?” Me: “Um, no?” My dad: “I thought so. You were smiling.”
    I was writing an interaction between Saelas and Kalvias. It…actually wasn’t a funny scene, but… *shrugs*
    So yeah. Love’s important.

    Anyway, good post, and sorry for the babbling.

    Like

    • Lana March 22, 2016 / 5:54 PM

      No, I definitely agree that writing takes a lot of work too, but…right now it’s like washing the dishes for me, which is one of my least favorite chores. And when you love something but just procrastinate from it, it’s not like dishes when you do it. It’s more like… Maybe if we’re going with the analogy of chores, it’s more like practicing the piano. I generally don’t want to make myself do that either, but when I do, I end up enjoying at least some portion of it. I think that’s mostly what I was trying to say with the post.

      Don’t worry about the babbling. I like long, rambly comments. 😀

      Like

      • Morgan @ studiesincharacter March 22, 2016 / 6:54 PM

        Oh yeah, that makes sense. Nice analogy, by the way.
        When I do the dishes, sometimes what I do is I turn music on and sing along to it while I’m washing the dishes. It makes it more enjoyable.
        So maybe you have to do something like that?
        *has no idea how that part of the analogy translates to real life*
        Or maybe just play music notes with the dishes and pretend you’re secretly playing the piano.

        Like

      • Lana March 22, 2016 / 7:12 PM

        Thanks. And hehe, I’m not sure how to apply that either. Listen to awesome music while writing? Or…something.
        Maybe I could play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”…

        Like

      • Morgan @ studiesincharacter March 22, 2016 / 7:17 PM

        I listen to music while I write, usually. Some people find the music to be distracting, but for me, it helps me focus and not get distracted by other things.
        Heheh, that could be fun.

        Like

      • Lana March 23, 2016 / 8:27 PM

        I only sometimes listen to music while writing. I don’t know if it really helps me focus, because once I start writing I pretty much just ignore it…

        Like

      • Morgan @ studiesincharacter March 24, 2016 / 7:21 PM

        Oh yeah, I tend to zone out the music, too, if I get deep enough into my writing. But does it help you “get into the zone” or help block out other distractions?

        Like

      • Lana March 26, 2016 / 3:01 PM

        Ehh…sometimes. It depends. I don’t think it really helps with distractions, because the volume is usually really low, so I can hear anything else that’s going on. It can help me get into the zone a little bit, but usually I have to find a way to make myself write either way.

        I find music really good to finding new story ideas and scenes, though.

        Like

      • Morgan @ studiesincharacter April 5, 2016 / 5:59 PM

        Understandable.

        Oh, definitely. The music also occasionally helps me figure out the moods for certain scenes.

        Also. WHOA NEW BLOG THEME.

        Like

      • Lana April 6, 2016 / 9:22 AM

        That’s true; if there’s a specific mood I’m going for sometimes music can help me achieve that.

        YUP. DO YOU LIKE IT?

        Like

      • Lana April 7, 2016 / 9:57 AM

        I THINK IT’S NICER THAN THE OTHER ONE (obviously, or else I wouldn’t have changed it)

        Like

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