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*This* Should Never End for Writers (More Inspo From Elizabeth Peters!)

Whimsical collage of a vintage woman, pink moped, newspaper clippings, in front of mountain and beach

We’ve talked ideas, outlines, writing tips, and more in this writing series. But amid the technical tips, one very important component of writing can get overlooked: love of the craft.

If you want to be a writer, you must enjoy writing!

I mentioned earlier that this series is modeled after the writing process of Barbara Mertz a.k.a. Elizabeth Peters. I was able to research her creative process for my Master’s, and do you know what stuck with me more than anything else?

How much fun she was having!

Of course there were difficult days, but this is a woman who clearly loved her work. Her joy is evident at every stage of the process. In her stream-of -consciousness notes for The Seventh Sinner, for instance, she wrote:

“The crux of the plot—ha—is the numeral VII, which must come to haunt all the characters, including the heroine, so that when she sees the scrawl in the victim’s blood, it never occurs to her that it could be anything but a number…”
A black-and-white photo of Barbara Mertz, who also wrote under the name Elizabeth Peters

I love that little “ha” at the beginning. It’s just so telling!

Amelia Peabody, Elizabeth Peters’ primary protagonist, goes so far as to say that paradise would be a continuation of the life she loves with those she loves beside her. A source tells me Mertz felt the same way towards the end of her life.

Think about that for a second: that heaven would be a continuation of this life!

How many of us can say that? I think it’d be pretty hard if you didn’t love your work.

Whether you want to be a writer or something else, that sense of fun and enjoyment is an incredible goal. The ultimate goal? Making this life so amazing that heaven could be a continuation of the life you’re already living. 

For more on the writing process of Elizabeth Peters, be sure to tune into the Vocabbett podcast!

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