#ContactForm1 { display: none ! important; }

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Return From the Land of the Living Dead

Here is the sad, sad truth: It's been three months since I worked seriously on any piece of writing.

Somewhere in the first week of November I died completely, but it was the slump in October that started my downward spiral. Stressed, busy, distracted... with only so much time on my hands I found that I couldn't - or wouldn't - make the time for writing.

Looking back on 2010 I can pin point a conversation that spelled the end for ambition.

I broke Rule #1 of social networking and took offense to something someone posted. I was venting about writing going to slow. I was frustrated. She was honest.

Her words were something to the effect of: If it's that hard, quit.

So I did.

Slowly, ever so slowly, I quit writing.

Less blogging, less blog reading, fewer words typed, all short stories abandoned. I lost enthusiasm for everything. My imagination quit.

I broke Rule #1 of writing. I gave up on myself.

So I had my downtime. I walked away.

I'm back. With a plan and everything. :o)

I'm in the apartment now, unpacking boxes at glacial speed, and looking forward to spring. Most important from a career perspective is that my computer is unpacked, and I have a designated work space once again.

Maybe it's just psychological, but having an office is a big help to me. It's a place I can go to, shut the door, and write. I don't write well with someone peeking over my shoulder. I tried it while we were traveling, and one comment from DH murdered a new novel idea in its infancy.

All that time away means I have no idea where I am in my WIP. I know how I want the book to end. I have notes, character arches, everything. But I honestly can't remember where I left off.

The goal for this week is to print what I have of JD, and start reading. I'm going to make some notes, see what themes I had running, try and find the most obvious plot holes and either tie them up or make a note for editing.

But that's it for the week.

One thing I did learn from last year's marathon word count is that rushing goals doesn't do me any good. Some authors can write and edit a book in three weeks and never break a sweat. I'm not one of them.

I can write a decent rough draft in a month. I've done that before. What I want now is a solid first draft that gives me a sturdy foundation to build on.

There is a difference between sturdy and decent. When I can articulate exactly what that is, I'll let you know.

Off to print,


  1. Glad to hear you're back, and you have a plan. That's awesome.

    I'm so jealous of your office. It has a door! ;)

    That might seem like a pretty obvious thing for an office to have, but I live in half a double shotgun, and there are no rooms, it's just one big open space after another. My desk is in the front room, where the front door is, and winds up being more of a receptacle for crap than a workspace. There is no such thing as privacy in a shotgun.

    Maybe some day I'll have a writing hut, like Roald Dahl. If I ever want any privacy, I might just have to build my own!

  2. That's great!

    It's nice to see you coming back, though I'm sure you needed the downtime to move...so don't be too hard on yourself.

  3. Don't be too down on yourself. I'm sure that you'll find your groove right quick and be off like a flash. Good luck with the WiP!

  4. I'm actually very excited about this WIP. Someone told me it took 1,000,000 words before you could produce something viable, and I wonder if there's some truth to that.

    Looking between the rough draft for this novel and the rough draft of my first novel I can see huge improvement.

    I'm so glad I stuffed the first one under a bed. This WIP... I don't know if it will be The One, but I think there's a good chance I will try to query my current WIP when it's cleaned.

  5. I think we all have down time like that now and then. Writing's a tough gig. The important thing is that you're back, rested and ready to write! :D

  6. Glad you're back to writing! I have an office now in our new house, and I'm SOOOO loving it. The kids can run around all over the house and not be climbing on me down here. It does make a difference.

  7. Sounds to me like you were suffering from a combination of stress and burnout. Too many things to do, not enough time to get everything done, and creativity got squashed. Now, everything's in the process of being settled and you've got time to write again.

    BTW, totally envious of you having an office. I can't write in my apartment without someone asking me what I'm doing, trying to add in his ideas on any storyline, or looking over my shoulder at what I'm writing.

  8. The office is shared space. DH is going back to school at the end of the month for his masters, so the office is more for him than me. I'm setting up a wireless router, and maybe a second desk.

    Still, while he's at work, it's mine.

    And I really want to do something with these bare, white walls.