I am doing Nation Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year for the first time. The past few years I have sat and watched many of my friends do it and felt rather envious of how much fun they seem to be having. All the talk of word counts and plots; even the wailing over blocks and rewrites seem like a great time. Me, I write non-fiction or on occasion poetry. I enjoy it, but its definitely more work than any kind of fun.
This year I am going totally out of my own comfort zone and writing a novel. I haven't written fiction in almost 20 years and my own taste runs to an ultra niche genre that isn't likely to interest a huge audience. So I decided not to write it for anyone but myself; I'm doing it just for the pure joy of telling the story. I'm not worrying about how well or badly I'm doing it or whether other people will like it. I'm not planning to publish (although I think I will take it all the way through to a final draft) so I'm not writing it with an eye to marketing it or making it appealing to the public. After talking with a few friends I even stopped my own inner critic who automatically tries to write for what I think others want to read.
So far I've found it to be an amazingly liberating experience. I'm remembering why I used to love writing, why I have so many notebooks from high school full of tediously handwritten stories. I'm telling a story I want to read, and its fun.