Take Joy

February 18, 2009

Take Joy, A Writer’s Guide to Loving the Craft. Jane YolenEssay 2-09-2009 – Nancy Bo Flood

A toddler holds onto the edge of the couch. She looks at you, grins… lets go. Her whole face lights up with joy and satisfaction. Then she frowns, concentrates and ever so carefully reaches out one foot, then the other, hands outstretched, balancing.
Take joy. Each step.

And then begin again, trying, reach, recapture balance, risk, dare. Celebrate. With a walk, humming a song I can’t remember the words to.
Often I forget about this joy part. I persevere and yes, I struggle. I write, re-write, send out, receive back another “not quite right for our list….”
Where is the joy part?
Taking the step. The journey. Discovering the right word. Rephrasing a sentence that I re-write, re-read and now it rolls off the tongue, resonates. A character dances in my head. Another one dances off the computer screen and continues to wander, looking for another plot, another author. Fine. I have plenty of other characters.
I write a note to my daughter. Send a funny email to my mother…well, I think it’s funny. Tuck a sexy note underneath my husband’s pillow.
Take joy. Thank you, Jane Yolen.
I shall not write that on my list of things to do.
I shall do it right now.

Take Joy, A Writer’s Guide to Loving the Craft. Jane Yolen. 2006, Writers Digest Books.
“Selling the piece is only an exclamation point, a spot of punctuation.”

Nancy Bo Flood

As a fish-brain surgeon or a rodeo poem wrangler, I have loved stories. I strongly believe that words – in poetry or prose – help heal our hearts and give us new eyes to see the world. I was first a research psychologist studying brain development at the University of Minnesota and London University before following my passion – writing for children. Learn more...