Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happiness Is Writing

by Maggie Marr

I am blessed because I am a writer. I get to spend my time exploring story and character and basically doing what I love. On a good day...someone even pays me for it! That's almost like someone paying me to sit around in my jammies and eat chocolate...not that I do that...ever...sit around in my jammies, eating chocolate, and writing. But sometimes...sometimes...even with the best of characters (and the best of chocolate) I complain about writing.

What are my complaints?

I complain that the job is too hard. That I am not skilled enough. That my next book/pilot/screenplay won't sell. But these complaints are basically just fears. Fears that are absolutely, one hundred percent groundless. Because even if the job is hard and even if my skill level isn't high enough and even if the next book/pilot/screenplay doesn't sell I still must write.

Writing for me, is like breathing. To not write is akin to me holding my breath... I turn blue and pass out. Actually I become cranky and insufferable. I've come to realize and accept that regardless of my fears much like I must breathe to live I must write to fully embrace my life. Writing, for me, is how I experience the world. I view almost all my daily experiences as fodder for story.

Accepting that writing is a key component, at least for me, of a happy and healthy life took a while. Oh, I fought the good fight. I thought perhaps I could stop writing. But I can't. And in accepting that I must write I felt a sense of surrender. We don't often use the term surrender in a positive way but I mean it with only a positive connotation. For me, this surrender to the idea that happiness is writing is to fully embrace my story and my place in the world as a storyteller. This was my great revelation in the new year. Funny isn't it, how we live with ourselves for a lifetime and yet we still can learn something new about ourselves each day.

So, happiness is writing. I embrace the struggle. I embrace the story. I embrace my characters. And I most definitely embrace the chocolate! What have you decided to embrace in 2011? I would love to hear!


Maggie Marr is an attorney and former motion picture literary agent for ICM. She is currently collaborating with a celebrity on a new YA trilogy which is a spin-off from a best-selling series. Maggie is also the author of Hollywood Girls Club and Secrets of The Hollywood Girls Club which is optioned for film and tv. Her romantic comedy script The Apology Expert is also under option for film. Maggie's tv credits include; Sexology, Hart & Stone, and The Invincible Maggie Malone. With her producing partner Peg Cafferty, Maggie is producing Backwater with John Schneider who is attached to direct. She lives in Los Angeles with her (ever patient) husband and her two (exceptionally talented) children. You can follow her career at www.maggiemarr.com

16 comments:

  1. Sweet post, Maggie. I think I'lll embrace healthy eating this year but will treat myself with a little chocolate now and then as well.

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  2. I love this! I, too, will embrace the chocolate!

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  3. I don't have any trouble embracing chocolate! What I'm struggling with is embracing myself as a 'writer'. Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

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  4. Great post Maggie, went straight to my heart.
    One of my sayings I tweet now and again says,
    "To write is to breathe; to breathe is to live; therefore, I live to write." T.K. Millin :)

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  5. I'm right there with you on the chocolate, Maggie!

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  6. Absolutely the chocolate but the cranky part too. Reminds of a quote from some famous author (which I could actually quote if I weren't to lazy to dig in my file) that goes something like: Writers write when the act of not writing becomes unbearable.

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  7. I've embraced sweat this year. As a woman of an uncertain age it seems the least little bit of exertion and I drip sweat. So, I have embraced it and have been working out harder than I have in a long time. Sweat is my new best friend.

    I really loved this post, especially "embracing the struggle." Amen sister!

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  8. Maggie, I loved your comment about surrendering, in a positive way, to something important to us. I feel this about writing, too. I tried to fight it for so, so long...

    The thing I'm trying to embrace this year is the reality that -- for me, at least -- balance in my life isn't a given. It's one of those things I'll always have to work at (like, oh, not eating ALL the chocolate I want ;). It helps me to remember that I shouldn't expect things like that to be easy because, in my case, they aren't. And I've also embraced my need for *a little* chocolate every single day...LOL.

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  9. Fab post! And I totally agree, Maggie! Happiness is writing. I couldn't live without it either. I'm trying to not worry so much about the rest of the writing biz and just focus on the words. So I guess that's what I'm embracing in 2011: the joy of telling stories. (And I'm embracing any and all time I get with my hubby! He's my other joy in life!) :-)

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  10. Thank you for all the great comments! Writing makes me so very happy and yet sometimes I resist doing it. Much like sweating/working out makes me feel better but I resist that too. Or cleaning my sock drawer...(okay maybe not so much). But you get my meaning. So wonderful to hear what you've all embraced as well as what you struggle with in this wonderful endeavor that is writing.

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  11. This is why I love this blog. It's so nice to hear that I've got company. I, too, have found that a lot of being a writer has to do with embracing the struggle of being a writer. It like my only choice is to be a writer or crazy alcoholic. In fact, I now understand why so many writers become crazy alcoholics when they go too long w/o writing. It definitely feels like both a blessing and a curse. More like a curse at first, but as the years go by it's become more and more a blessing, and I'm grateful for that.

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  12. Maggie, you hit it on the head. We have to identify ourselves as writers whether we are published or not, successful or laboring in obscurity. There is such power in that surrender and acknowledgment. Hopefully, as it did for me, that surrender comes with a sense of inevitability and the courage to stop worrying what anyone else thinks and speak with your own voice. Everything else- the getting the words onto paper- is about discipline. After a rough 2009 and 2010, I am embracing my voice. No one can do me better than me, and if I don't do it, I'm not fulfilling my role on this planet.

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  13. If happiness is writing, you must be euphoric with all your writing projects. I have to agree with Lauren's comment - you have a great attitude - perhaps the best I've ever encountered - and it is paying off!!!
    xx

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  14. If you are a writer, you should know the major tips about writing. Those I found here.

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