April 7, 2017

Writing After Life Kicks You in the Teeth

I always thought that writer's block wasn't a real thing. That you could just sit down and start writing, and eventually you would figure out what should happen next. I wrote for over seven years and hadn't ever experienced a block that I couldn't work free of in an hour. Free writing, brain maps, and character interviews are all useful for that sort of thing. I've even written ridiculously impossible scenes before and then edited them into coherency.

Then my life blew up.

It's not that I didn't have time to write. Everyone has time to write, if they make it a priority. (Or so I've been told.) But my life was falling apart, and I felt like I couldn't talk to anybody about it for over a year. And the emotional stress, or depression, or whatever you want to call it (neither of those terms seem quite right) whatever it was, it sucked the creativity out of me. I can't really explain it any other way. I had no desire to be creative or think about stories or even read. Which is kind of a big deal, for me. I didn't read a single book for a year.

Like I said, it's not that I didn't have the time. It's not that I didn't have ideas or something to be working on. (I've been in the middle of Lost Princesses for an embarrassingly long time.) I just didn't. Or couldn't. I'm not sure which.

During that time, I moved twice and took care of my kids, took a few college classes, and prepared to build my life back from the ground up. And I'm still in the middle of that process. But recently, I had a story idea.

Not just any idea. The first idea I've had in a very, very long time. The first inkling that I would ever be able to write again. (The guilt of not finishing my other books had been the only motivation I'd had during that time, and it wasn't enough motivation, obviously.)

I wrote down my idea, sketching out a short story from beginning to end. And I've been kinda excited about it.

And then today, I had an idea on six other related short stories that could become something very cool. Something I've never seen before in fiction. And I got so excited about it that I felt an almost panicky feeling. The feeling that I needed to write. Now.

So I did. I wrote a thousand words today.

I'm not sure what will happen with my writing. I don't know when the next book will come out. But what I can tell you is that I am writing. And it feels awesome.

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