There are too many times as writers where we feel stuck. This past summer, I would not have said, I feel stuck. I had actually accomplished a lot of writing, working myself into the third edits of my first novel. Yet, something felt lacking. Before I even began writing my novel, I had dropped by short story blog and my writing schedule to step back and try to evaluate where my writing was going. I wanted to get a fresh perspective on what I had been doing and see if it was something I wanted to continue doing. Working on a novel and continually writing short stories, doing author interviews, hosting other writers, and writing author ‘self-help’ posts, all of that together felt very overwhelming. So, I decided to step back from anything that wasn’t my novels.
While I made this decision, I didn’t put in place any safeguards to keep me connected to the literary world. It felt a lot easier to be writing all the time, to be in a writing community, when I was in college. Once I graduated last year, I learned the hard way that it takes tremendous effort to keep up the pace I had set for myself. I was pumping out stories every week and writing 2 blog posts a week (which isn’t really a lot in the scheme of things), but I was doing this on top of trying to write my novels and trying to homeschool four kids. In the end, something had to give. In the end, I decided to cut short my fun weekly story writing. Who was reading anyways?
And yet, here I am again.
The past month, I have had this nagging feeling that I was abandoning something that worked for me. Something that kept me writing every single day. I took a break from my novel edits to go back to reading and studying. I took the time to reread through my college texts, the books I had basically flown through to finish the courses I was assigned. I took my time mulling over them and thinking about what they meant for me now that I was on the other side. Why did it feel so different? Why was I feeling like everything related to my passion was a struggle?
Because I had stepped back and didn’t have a plan for re-engaging. I wasn’t even sure that I knew what it meant to be a working author. It was new territory and scary as hell because there is no road map for authors, each path is individual.
“Becoming a writer means being creative enough to find the time and the place in your life for writing.”- Heather Sellers, The Practice of Creative Writing.
These words really punched me hard as I reread them precisely because I had stepped back to become more creative and in the process, felt like I had jumped off a cliff into a dark void of nothingness. I had sacrificed some of that busy time for more ‘free time’ and got sucked down the well-trodden path of obscurity. Well, maybe more like I had been sucked down the rabbit hole of distractions, procrastination, and laziness—the bane and death of every writer.
Heather Sellers hit me again in her book The Practice of Creative Writing when she reminded me that, “good writers write whether they are in the mood or not,: and “they practice whether they feel like it or not”. They make time for it, not excuses. Writing habit. That was what I had let go when I dropped my story blog. When I kept this site running and updated, I had assigned myself days for posting short stories and posts for other writers, interviews, etc., which meant I forced myself to write day and definitely every week.
I had formed a writing habit and then stepped away from it with no idea of how I would re-engage myself in my writing. In essence, I set myself up for failure.
So, throwing my hat back in the ring, I have jumped back into the rusty saddle to try and reinvent my wheel, the one that is always spinning in my mind, the one that never leaves me alone, the one that has a thousand story ideas and is begging for me to just STOP and make time for what I love. Yes, I loved short story writing and I don’t care if these stories only ever make it here. I love novel writing and as I work on finishing the first few books of my series, I hope to be able to share those ideas too. But I know that the only way that will happen is if I get back into a daily writing habit and stop making excuses.
Distractions are everywhere. Procrastination is the easy answer. Laziness is a habit not easily broken. Writer’s block is the inevitable outcome of the deadly triple combo attack that hits every writer eventually. Me refocusing my attentions back on my short story blog, engaging other authors and young writers, this is my means of clawing my way back into the writing ring. It is the way that I set myself back on the path of daily habit and finish what I had started out to do in the first place.
Share my love of stories, my love of language, my love of the written word with the world.
Won’t you please join me for the October restart of my short story blog feature section known as Fantasy Fix Friday? My goal is to bring exciting content to you every month and that includes shorts, artwork, music, and a diverse crowd of upcoming and published authors.
If I fail, I fail, but I would rather try my hardest than give up and return to doing nothing.
Thank you all for your support! Mark your calendars:
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017- Write Life Posts restart
Wednesday, October 4th, 2017- Author Interview/Book Review Posts restart
Friday, October 6th,2017- Fantasy Fix Friday- Short Story and Guest Writer posts restart
I hope to hear from you and don’t forget to tell your writing friends. <3
What I’m listening to: