Let’s Pretend

Somehow Friday, the day I usually blog about writing, just evaporated for me.  Saturday I went to a memorial service for the husband of a friend, and I didn’t think about anything else.  So here it is Sunday, but let’s pretend it’s Friday for a few minutes instead.

“Let’s pretend.”  That’s how writers get started, even before they learn how to put little black marks on paper.  (We all start out that way, but some of us never grow out of it.)  Gradually, “tell me a story” changes to “let me tell you a story”  but the joy of discovery is still there. That joy is the best reason to write.

I’m experimenting with ways to recapture that joy.  As Hugh McLeod observes in Ignore Everybody, it’s liberating to work on something that doesn’t have a commercial angle, that isn’t motivated by ambition, that belongs just to you. (If you want, you can turn it into something marketable later, but don’t think about that now.)

That’s one way to liberate your creativity.  Tell yourself the story you want to hear, asking, “what happens next,” and “then what?”

Obviously there’s much, much more than this to writing salable fiction.  But the joyful process starts with saying, “Let’s pretend.”

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