I love writing. Why else would I do it? Sure, the stuff I write isn't always great, witty, or poetic, but I'm creating. I'm expressing myself. Many times after a short warm-up of writing lame, straight-to-the-trashcan rubbish, I fall into my groove and the good stuff starts to flow. Then that writers high kicks in, and--in my own mind--I'm a story Jedi and completely unstoppable. I love that feeling.
Maybe that's why I love dancing. The warm-up is usually mundane. I might be stiff, cranky, or stressed, but I know that once my body starts moving, the rush of adrenaline and endorphins will release and the music will transport me to a different world. That's pure bliss to me. If you really want to get me pumped, put me on a dance floor, throw on hip-hop or house music, and challenge me to a battle. Watch Miss Ballet/Lyrical/Contemporary Dancer throw rules and structure out the window and "take it to the streets."
Which brings me to my point about kickin' ass.
I know I'm not the next J.K. Rowling. If the literary world was a dance floor and she and I went head-to-head, she would show me up instantly. Does that mean I wouldn't step up and do MY thing? Heck no. I'd jump in there and throw down with my best stuff. BUT, I'd watch J.K., study her moves, shake her hand, bow humbly, and then go home and practice my own variation of her skills in the mirror. That's how we learn. Watch, study, practice, make it our own, and never stop filling our arsenal with knowledge, skill, and experience. It's a huge dance floor (the world of writing) there will always be someone bigger and better out there. It doesn't mean we should stop dancing (writing) or complain about how hard it is.
If you want to learn a lot about writing a strong MC, developing relationships between characters, and making rules of fantasy believable, go read Graceling by Kristin Cashore. (The photo is not the American cover--I think it's the UK--but I adore this version so I'm using it.) Graceling made me want to improve my craft and draw people into my stories the way Kristin did. Not to mention, Katsa (the MC) is the biggest bad ass I've seen in a long time. I'd love to see Katsa and Katniss from Hunger Games battle it out on a dance floor. It would be one heck of a showdown!
I'm not saying that every second of our writing careers will be easy or even fun, but it should be passionate. Even if you're passionately miserable about a character, or your plot, or your word count, that's still passion. Do something to pull yourself out of the funk. Read a great book, study the craft of your favorite author, write something totally different than the story you've been obsessing about for months. Switch it up. Have fun. Go challenge someone to a battle and learn from them. It will only make you better and stronger and you'll probably have a good time while doing it.
I'll close with some advice from Stephen King. If you won't listen to little ol' me I know you'll listen to a superstar like him:
"You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair--the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names...Come to it any way but lightly.I bet Stevie could throw down some wicked dance moves. ;)
Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.
I'm not asking you to come reverently or unquestioningly; I'm not asking you to be politically correct or cast aside your sense of humor...This isn't a popularity contest, it's not the moral Olympics, and it's not church. But it's writing, damn it...If you can take it seriously we can do business. If you can't or won't, it's time for you to close the book and do something else."
~Stephen King, On Writing