My Bliss Track for the week – Watching my children jump in the huge pile of leaves we spent hours raking.
My Bitch Track for the week – Why is there always that one person at a party that has to get so drunk no one else can have a good time?
So hubby and I went to dinner the other night at a restaurant we’ve loved since the day it opened. The first time we went, we sat in our chairs, having food-gasms over everything from the wine and salads to the HUGE prime rib that covered his plate. I had steak tips, sautéed onions and mushroom and a slightly spicy rice pilaf. I ended with a huge slice of cheesecake and hubby had the molten lava chocolate explosion thingy.
Let’s just say, we just about rolled our overstuffed selves out the door.
I was satisfied. I was hooked. I was coming back for more.
Then a funny thing started happening. We don’t eat out very often, but around our fourth visit, we noticed the servings weren’t as large. The lettuce wasn’t as finely chopped or fresh. The ultra thin curls of Parmesan cheese that used to top my caesar salad were just crumbles instead. We ate and left satisfied – somewhat. But it wasn’t the mind-blowing, euphoric satisfaction we used to gain from this restaurant.
And instead of screaming out this restaurant’s name the next time we went out, we questioned if we wanted to go there or if we wanted to try somewhere new!
Ruh roh Raggy.
Then – as with everything – I started thinking about writing. About how often this happens with authors I fall head-over-heels in love with. And how easy it could be to become lazy.
When the restaurant owner opened the doors, he/she had passion in their heart. They were pouring everything they had into the endeavor. They were willing to spends HOURS and HOURS perfecting what they were going to give to the public. Sound familiar? Then, over time, the restaurant gained a following. “They love me! They really love me!”
So what happened then? COMPLACENCY.
Complacency can kill a restaurant, and it can kill a writing career. Don’t let your characters wilt. Don’t downsize the intensity or conflict. Don’t rush to give a product that might make your readers think about going elsewhere. Remember, as you perfect your craft and write more and more novels, to keep writing with your heart. Keep writing with the passion and drive that you had when you first started out. Yes, as we write and learn and become more sure of our talents, we can complete a novel faster and cleaner, but in doing so, it’s easy to lose the passion that drew our readers in the beginning.
There’s the thought for the day. Write with the drive and passion you had when you started out. Make it as good as the first time, and you won’t have to worry about your readers going elsewhere to eat!