So – my hubby works in Afghanistan, and while he’s gone it’s easy to descend into a morass of loneliness and depression. And dare I admit it – this leads to procrastination when it comes not only to my writing but in all aspects of my life. Not to worry. I discovered the cure. I stay busy. Boy-o-boy, when he left last time, I was swimming in busy. That should have meant all would be well and good in my world.
Why can’t life ever be that simple? Why can’t there be a single answer on how to “fix” whatever is ailing me? How come what works one time doesn’t necessarily work the second or third time? What the hell is the point of self-reflection when each and every time you face the same basic issue, the variables change just enough to mess with your reality?
Life sure can be bitch.
All my busyness backfired on me. No, I did not descend into a morass of loneliness and depression. Nope, nope, nope. That would have been too simple. Instead, life suddenly got to be too much, and I shut down. Oh, I’m sneaky when things in my head are not going well. I do just enough to skate by, or it might be more accurate to say I do just enough not to get caught.
To the outside world, nothing appears amiss. I know better. My bills stack up. My articles don’t get written. And my actual writing-writing – yeah, that thing I’ve devoted vast amount of free time pursuing – comes to a standstill. Coupled with a break in critique group (vacations and such) and you guessed it. No writing for weeks and weeks. I’m losing my ever-loving mind thinking about failing to meet my third WoC goal, of having to give up my status as a member of the Dry Team. Of taking yet another ice bucket dunking. And it’s not because I haven’t had the time. I have. I’ve simply chosen NOT TO WRITE. Why? On the surface, I needed some down time. I really was very busy, but my obligations are waning. I’ve had plenty of chill time. That excuse no longer holds water.
Deeper down (under the surface), I’m scared. My stories aren’t developing like I thought. My writing process seems as undefined as ever. I’m questioning whether I have the stuff to go the distance. I’m wondering if I can actually finish a damn story. Publishing seems farther away than ever.
I’m not about to wrap up here by telling you how I fixed my issues, because I’ve fixed nothing. Neither am I going to tell you that I will write today, because I’m not sure I will. What I will leave you with is two bits of “positive” that have come to me of late.
The first was the Starfish Conference two weekends ago. Sarah MacLean, keynote speaker, said something that resonated with me. She said, “Put it all in there!”. That translated into a germ of an idea. Still noodling on that, but I’m encouraged. The second was a scene that suddenly played out in my head, and that in turn got the bigger wheel in my head turning.
Who knows? Maybe I will write today. Better than losing my mind completely, eh?
Lorinda Peake wrote her first ditty when she was ten on an English seashore while visiting her British grandmother. From then on, her family either acted in or were treated to plays, skits, or commercial spoofs. In school, she wrote poetry, fables and short stories.
Years later, she tossed down a particularly bad novel and thought, “I could do at least that well.” She’s been pursuing the elusive published novel ever since. Recently, she joined a group of fellow writers who decided to cajole, bully, encourage, and sometimes baby each other along towards the publishing goal by setting real and measurable writing objectives with “motivational” consequences for non-attainment.
Lorinda loves a good romance – all the more if it is wrapped in a great fantasy setting. She lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with her husband of 34 years.