For the Love of It

Like millions of others worldwide, I’ve been watching some of the Olympic competition. I’m inspired by the stories of these athletes who’ve trained so long and so hard to be the very best they can be.  I realize that some of these athletes are professionals (the U.S. basketball team, for example), or even if they’re “amateurs,” some have signed hefty endorsement contracts with companies. I mean, really, am I supposed to believe that Subway is the official sandwich shop of Olympic athletes?

I was inspired by high school student and multi-gold medalist swimmer Missy Franklin. She turned down endorsement contracts and remained in her hometown so she could continue to swim for her high school team. Clearly, there’s a girl who swims and competes because she loves it.

I was never much of an athlete. I did ride and show horses for seven years in my teens.  I definitely didn’t earn money doing it, but I loved it so much I worked a part time job to pay my travel and show entry fees.  Now I’m training to do a walk/run half-marathon this winter. I’ve had to pay an entry fee, book a hotel for the event and buy workout clothes. Then I sprained my ankle a couple weeks ago, which resulted in a doctor visit and prescription. Yeah, it’s costing me money, but I’m not giving up. I’m not sure I’m at the love stage yet, but I’m determined to complete this goal.

Which leads me to writing. I started writing books for two major reasons.  First, I loved reading stories and I had plenty in my brain that I thought I’d like to share with others. Second, I’d read enough stories where I found myself thinking, “I can do better than this.” Yes, in my mind, I’m an Olympic champion among authors.

But I fell out of training, and partly that was caused by focusing too much on the other books, the market in general, whether or not I could earn money from my books.  I let business cloud my love of writing. I worried about sales more than the story. I focused on trying to please editors and agents rather than readers. Ultimately, I spent too much energy trying to guess what everyone else wanted in a story rather than just writing the kind of story I wanted to share.

So I’ve got a new goal. Along with a half-marathon and my 50th birthday this winter, I plan to publish my next book. A book I’m very happily writing on again. I’m writing this first draft for me, for the love of it. And I hope it will strike a chord with readers.

What is it you do for the love of it? 

About Amy Atwell

Amy Atwell is a storyteller at heart. After fifteen years in professional theater, she turned from the stage to the page to write contemporary capers and historical tales that combine romance and adventure. Her books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. When not writing, she runs the online author communities WritingGIAM and Author E.M.S.
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7 Responses to For the Love of It

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Amy, like you I’ve allowed myself to get distracted by other things, and now I have so many ‘things’ going on that writing sometimes feels like something I ‘have to do.’ I need to remind myself of the joy that writing gives me. Because none of the other ‘things’ gives me that same joy.

    Of course I hope to be a bestseller and make a ton of money – but I got into it out of love, and I continue to do it for love.

  2. Liz Kreger says:

    Good luck with the marathon, Amy. Sounds ambitious to me … but then, anything involving physical effort sounds ambitious to me. 😉 I know what you mean about allowing your writing to take a back seat to those silly necessities like promoting, sales and actually trying to make a living. Sometimes you gotta let those things go in order to get back into your writing groove.

  3. It’s easy to second guess ourselves while writing. I stopped doing it a while ago and can’t tell you how emancipating that was. Write the stories you want to read, Amy and you will always write a great story!
    Karin* Tabke aka Harlow!`s last blog was …CAPA Winner!

  4. reading your post was like reading my own life’s story! very similiar! I def. write for the love of it. It took me 7 years to get published and then when i wasn’t published by NY again, I could have given up, but didn’t. I’m thrilled now with how my career is going, but i know that even if it all went away, i’d probably still write. I just can’t get these stories to leave me alone!

  5. Misty Evans says:

    Amy, good luck with the marathon! And enjoy writing that story. We all get off track with the business/family side of life, and it’s very rewarding to find our back to our passion.

  6. Amy, I’m so thrilled you’re back in the saddle with writing. It IS hard to remember its a passion when you have a deadlines looming and promoting to do.

    Looking forward to reading your new book! 🙂

  7. Amy,
    First of all, congrats on choosing goals for this year that mean a lot to YOU. I think your experience is something many of us share — situations where what we want and what we love start to get tangled up in the expectations and goals that other people have for us. Especially with writing, when there’s so much of ourselves involved in a novel’s creation, it’s hard to do it for any reason other than love and, yet…the pressure from other areas can really cloud our passion.
    Wishing you well on both your upcoming race (!!) and your new book :).
    Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …Let the Games Begin!

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