What’s your “bliss”?

Camping in May in New Hampshire is risky. You really don’t know what the weather will be like. Fortunately, we had beautiful weather. Or this would have been my last camping trip in May, but don’t tell my husband.

On Sunday we went on a long bike ride. And, if you couldn’t guess, camping in the White Mountains means that the bike trails will not be flat! Our first hill was a very looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong hill. Kids were crying. Calves were burning. Parents were begging encouraging.

And as my daugher said, “It feels like someone is slashing my legs with a knife. And then shoving red hot pokers on them. And then pouring lighter fluid on them and lighting them on fire. And then taking a machetti to them. (No, she’s not dramatic at all.)

On the way back to camp though, we had a loooooooooooooog downhill ride. The kids were calling the downhills “happy”. (reflecting their mood) And on this long downhill, they switched over to the word bliss. So all the way down, they kept calling out.


And then my daughter said, “I’m effervescing!” (Yeah, we like to read books and then use the harder words in our daily vocab. out of context.)

Riding uphill is extremely hard. Riding downhill – coasting – is a lot of fun. Let’s switch gears to writing. For me, I experience writing bliss when writing the emotional scenes on the first draft.

What part of the writing experience is “bliss” for you. Drafting? Outlining? Writing the first draft? Revising? Polishing? And I dare you to call out “Bliss” when you are feeling happy writing. (Or go crazy and make up your own word!)

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16 Responses to What’s your “bliss”?

  1. Paul May 24, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    Sounds like you had a fun weekend!!
    I never really thought about which part of writing I like the best. I think when I become happily lost/engaged at any stage is when I experience that bliss state. Thanks for a fun post!

  2. Kris May 24, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    Bliss might be my new favorite word! Right now, my uphill is first draft. My “bliss” is revision. I love adding those little details during revision that make the text pop. I’m on the downhill slope now…

  3. Laura May 24, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Paul – May you experience bliss today!

    kris – Downhill is so fun. Enjoy the ride.

  4. Jonathon Arntson May 24, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    My bliss is writing everyday dialogue between my favorite characters. I feel like I am, there with them and we’re having a good time. When they argue, however, I give them privacy.

  5. Ansha Kotyk May 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    My bliss is writing the first draft. Those Aha! moments as I create. LOVE THEM. My uphill is revision. So I guess I’m the total opposite of Kris. Which is good. Kris, HELP! Help me find that happy place while I revise!

  6. Andrea Vlahakis May 24, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    Great post, Laura. Bliss is the pre-first draft phase when I’m throwing ideas together and discovering who my characters are and what the story is. Sitting down to actually write the first draft is uphill, big time. Then revising is bliss again.

  7. Kelly Polark May 24, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    Brainstorming ideas is bliss. First Draft is too. Not so much on revisions.
    True Bliss will be publication 🙂
    Love the quotes from your kids!!

  8. Laura May 24, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    Brainstorming is fun too, but I can also find that place frustrating – not knowing if an idea is going to develop into a full fledged story or not.

    And yes, I think for all of us, true bliss would be publication. And Kelly, I can’t read your blog today because I won’t watch LOST until tonight. So I’m staying away from Twitter too!

  9. Jody Hedlund May 24, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    Very funny post, Laura! I could just picture my kids doing the same thing!! But thankfully we live in the flat plains of Michigan and all our bike trails are easy.

    I’m with you. I love writing the most emotional scenes, the ones that get me crying! The hardest are the ah-ha moments and of course the first chapter.

  10. Susan R. Mills May 24, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    I experience writing bliss when I finally get a scene right and my beta readers confirm it. That feels sooooooo good!

  11. marcia May 24, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    I’m totally with Andrea on where the bliss is. And isn’t.

    “I’m effervescing” reminds me of a TV commercial from childhood. It was a Kool-Aid type of drink that was touted as “effervescent!” My sister loved to sing the word. So I guess TV was more than just the idiot box after all. 🙂

  12. Karen Lange May 24, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    Love your daughter’s descriptions! What a family adventure. 🙂 Writing bliss for me is the actual writing and then the happy acceptance of whatever I wrote.

  13. angela May 24, 2010 at 11:49 pm #

    The bliss part is definitely drafting. revision is the lighter fluid to the eyes part.

    This post reminded me of my honeymoon in Jamacia. We went on a tour of a coffee mountain that took us up to the top by van and then we got to ride down it. It was called the ‘Downhill bicycle Tour’ and I liked the sound of that!

    The most challenging thing about that tour was finding a bike that had working breaks. I think I found one after trying out at least 8 bikes!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  14. Karen Strong May 25, 2010 at 3:12 am #

    Gosh, I haven’t been camping in forever. Glad the weather worked out for you.

    Bliss for me? You know when you start writing something and you’re really into it? Next thing you know a couple of hours have gone by. You’re in the flow. Bliss.

  15. Laura May 25, 2010 at 3:17 am #

    Thanks for sharing everyone!
    Hope you all have a blissful day tomorrow!


  16. Judy Palermo May 25, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    Give me revisions! I hate, hate, hate slogging through the first draft. It’s hard for me to let writing not work, but I know I have to let things go in a first draft or I will never finish.

    Give me revision. I like to fix things.

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