Okay, lionhearts. How's it going for you?
I hope you're having fun with this Love Your Writing Life series, and that you're experiencing a bit more fun and a lot more love in your writing life.
... I'm aiming for butterflies in the stomach, but anything cheery is good with me!
Over the next few days, we'll be celebrating more and more... Ready? Let's go!
February 11: Write a letter.
TODAY'S CHALLENGE: Just like last Thursday, we're taking a little time today to write a letter to the Writing Life. But this time, let's begin by saying:
Dear Writing Life, I remember when you and I...
Let the letter be full of your happiest moments together. Feel free to just list 'em out: all the best times in your life of words, whatever that was, however it look.
All your happy moments around reading, writing, words, bookstores, friends who love talking about books and writing, the mythology around Shakespeare, the movie Midnight in Paris, author crushes, your favorite fiction, the characters you invented, the moments when you were writing and it felt like flying...
All of it. Get it all down.
If you can, try to capture what you first loved about it. What drew your attention. What was bubbling in your heart when you decided to commit, to get serious about it.
When you're done, you'll have one of the best resources you can possibly create: a letter that you can reread every time you feel discouraged, when you get nasty criticism, when you have too many days where the writing is hard.
You'll have your best reminder, and in your own words, of what you most love in the writing life: It's your personalized guide for getting back on track.
February 12: Go flirt at a bookstore.
TODAY'S CHALLENGE: Get yourself to a bookstore, or a library, or any other place that has shelves and shelves of books.
And then, get flirtatious.
Not with other people! Pfft. I mean with books.
Scan the titles, open dozens of them, read all the first lines on one shelf, or (if you're feeling very brazen) read all the final pages.
Flip through them at random, run your fingers over the spines, smell the pages. Admire the fancy endpapers, the beautifully rough-cut edges.
Be one of those eccentric daydreamy book lovers.
In the words of that famous relationship specialist Ray Bradbury,
You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders
to sniff books like perfumes
and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads.
To which I would add: By all means, get yourself a raspberry & white chocolate mocha at the coffee shop.
I mean, let's go all out. This is love after all.
February 13: Buy flowers; buy chocolates.
TODAY'S CHALLENGE: Give your writing life a gift. Something fun, something special.
It can be really silly and playful (bright and cheery office supplies!), or it can be super serious (amazingly fancy fountain pen).
It doesn't have to be expensive or super involved, but it DOES have to make your heart beat faster. A little giddiness is a very, very good thing.
You can go as far with this as you'd like: overhaul your office area and make it feel like a place where you would love to spend your time.
Design a writing life care package and then give it to yourself.
... Or just grab a cheap but lovely candle and put rose petals all over your desk.
If you can't afford to buy anything, no worries. I'm with you. The writing life doesn't necessarily bring in money—so let's do something else to express affection.
Rearrange your office area, bring in a lamp or cozy pillows from other parts of your house. Brighten it up. Make it beautiful.
Or hand letter a wonderful writerly quote that means a lot to both of you. (If you need inspiration, I put a bunch of my favorite quotes into this post.) Make some art. Handmade gifts are often the best!
Whatever it looks like for you—make your writing space more lovely, more special, more fun. Make it feel noticed.
February 14: Savor a meeting of minds.
TODAY'S CHALLENGE: No matter what your other Valentine's Day plans are, take a little time today to read something beautiful. Something delightful.
But whatever you choose, take a little time to snuggle up with words. Decorate your day with language.
Savor the words. Try to hold them on your tongue for a moment. Let yourself read slow, read at a snail's pace.
Like every word is made of expensive chocolate.
Catch the feel of the phrase, the way language is like music.
It's a beautiful thing, the reading life.
(And oh, if today feels more like Singleness Awareness Day, I'm totally with you. Invite a really amazing book to keep you company. Do a little readerly time travel, a bit of teleportation.
After all, Stephen King says that reading is telepathy, "a meeting of the minds." Who are we to argue? Take some time for mind-meeting. It's really not a bad way to spend February 14.)
And there you have it, lionhearts. We're about halfway through February at this point, and halfway through the series! I hope it's been fun for you so far!
I would looooove to know: What has been the most fun prompt for you? What have you enjoyed the most, or what's been the most productive? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!
Meanwhile, Happy Valentine's Day, you beautiful writers! And come back on Monday for your next batch of prompts.