Show of hands:
Which sounds the most fun?
Anyway you look at it, writing is a long-haul, from the first moment of story-conception, through the long hours of typing, the cringing, self-torture of proof-reading your first-draft, that first stage of editing, the handing it to CP's to slash apart your pretty bows and neat plot-points.
...then more editing, and if you're lucky, you round the track and hit the gravel trail of querying which is another trek in itself... and let's not even talk about all the stages necessary to get from agent to shelf.
But you also get those nice, short sprints, right? Where your lungs are burning, but you can see the goal line of a finished scene before you, or hitting a daily/weekly word-count high.
Sure, it's a lot of hard business and serious work and sacrifices, like sleep, and family, and uhm, actual human interactions...
I think we should all have more fun, though.
I don't know if you guys are like me, but I think I have a pretty good idea about what my writing weaknesses and strengths are.
I'm not saying I'm 100% right... but I think I know. I have some awareness about what I struggle with and what flows with not a lot of effort. And the parts that come naturally, well, you start to get a kind of confidence from that. The weaknesses, you kinda laugh and push them a little off to the side so they won't be staring at you quite so directly.
Well, I do.
And the main reason I do push them out-of-sight-out-of-mind is 'cause they're not fun.
But there's probably something interesting about them, if I looked hard enough, from a different angle, or maybe trying to turn off all the lights and attempting to build a helicopter out of Lego in the pitch dark... oh wait... straying off topic...
Okay, the Lego helicopter came up 'cause my little nephew always says, 'Build me this!' And I go, 'I don't wanna!'
Real mature, I know, but he's only 4.5, so what can you do?
Building helicopters are boring. I'll do it to please him, but I build 'em fast and really don't care when he smashes it to bits three seconds later. I rush and have little-to-no emotional investment in whether it lives or dies. Like writing a scene simply to transition to a better scene that I actually want to write. It's never going to be good if I'm just trying to get it over with.
So, what do you do to make writing more fun for yourself?
I put in a lot of small details that make me laugh. Like the reason behind Simon's name and then challenging myself to never use the phrase, 'Simon said'. In one of my stories, there's a stuffed cow named Melvastyke (pronounced mel-vah-steek). The same stuffed cow that still sits on my bed (husband permitting, well, tolerating) that I've had since I was thirteen. I throw in prime numbers and perfect numbers, I make vague references to weird math-things, like phi, the number by which you calculate a spiral. In Project #5, I plan to sneak in a sort-of-mention of Schrodinger's Cat.
Sometimes I simply designate one sense per character. That character's descriptions/experiences will only ever use that one sense. I do this with colours, too, or images/associations.
There are an obscene number of sly references to my cat...*
And I'm trying to think up the oddest combinations of food for Triss to eat.
Having these things keeps the story fun for me, no matter how many times I go through and re-write, cut, change, etc.
My writing group (unknowingly) are also part of my game. When they make suggestions or ask questions, I remember those things. I read through the text and go, "oh, I purposefully used the word 'rend' here, 'cause of J's last story" and, "here's the part where L smacked me over the head 'cause I was being an idiot. Then she told me how to fix the problem and totally saved me."
I can read a line and recall who patiently re-wrote it on the page so I finally understood what an umbrella pronoun is, or which muddied-description became clear after all the baggage was stripped away.
And it becomes a game of capture-the-flag because every word, every phrase, every sentence has a history, a memory and often a reason to laugh.
Sometimes all you need for a little staying power is making a game. Who says you can't hide a few flags in your work? If that'll motivate you to keep going, to keep it fresh and fun and excited as you work through the text over and over and over again, then do it!
*No, I'm not a crazy cat-lady, despite the evidence...