A Writer’s Little Pleasures
1. Quiet Time.
The kids are at school or on a play date. You’ve cleared the inbox and are ready to devote several uninterrupted hours to the word processor. Bliss.
2. A great idea.
It can come at any time of the day, when at the shops or making dinner. You’ve been vaguely chewing over a tricky element in a plot line when suddenly a great idea strikes you. It seems to tie together perfectly with what you were trying to achieve. You can’t imagine where the inspiration came from but it has resolved your problem perfectly.
3. Getting a good review.
This may not happen everyday of the week and doesn’t necessarily have to be a written review on Amazon or Goodreads. It may simply be a friend or a neighbour who tells you how much they enjoyed reading your book, or a message on Facebook or Twitter. This kind of feedback is what it’s all about.
This may sound strange, but the research stage of a novel can be quite therapeutic. Choosing a particularly good book on the topic you are gathering information on is fun and with the internet, the research phase is now relatively easy.
5. Picking up a new skill.
Writers are pretty good with words, but often a little sketchy in other departments. The modern writing world means you need to get to grips, at the very least, with word processing packages, but most likely you are also learning how to design book jackets and promotional materials. As your books become better known, you may be speaking at local events or attending book signings.
6. Discovering a community to join.
It may be in your local area or online, but suddenly you are interacting with lots of other folk who think in the same way as you. Some might even be on the other side of the world!
Sometimes, I will write a blog to take a break from the book. It’s like when you were growing up and thought you wanted to be a journalist and would set the world to rights in your weekly column. Actually, you can! Start blogging, us writers can’t get enough of it.
8. A nice cuppa and a biscuit.
For some writers, this might be a cappucino and a Danish or even a slug of single malt. But sitting down at the laptop with your favourite beverage and something that can deposit crumbs between the gaps in the keys feels pretty darned good.
9. Having a sneaky look at your own books on Amazon.
Or wherever else your novels are on sale. Us authors don’t obsess about it, obviously. But we do occasionally have a sneaky look at our back catalogue and feel a little surge of pride, something akin to gazing at school photos of your children, or admiring your herbaceous borders.
10. Reading back over a section of prose that you’re happy with.
This is a really satisfying little pleasure. Somehow the choice of words, dialogue or imagery seem to work just right and we can leave it exactly as it is.
I’m sure all writers have their own little pleasures, and no doubt frustrations too, but for now, this is a small selection of mine.