The Curious Case of Writers Blah…

I am a writer. I write stories from the depths of my mind about people I’ve never met. It took me until “later” in life to realize I was an author. I say author because I always knew I was a writer.

I was pointed in the right direction by a teacher no less, those caring, giving human beings who try to nurture and guide you through the wicked world of middle school. It was a direction I did not take. Oh how I wish I would’ve. But I’m a big believer in, everything happens for a reason.

Fast forward twenty something years. It took moving to a new state, new friends and a whole lotta of soul searching to make the picture clear. I opened my laptop, staring at the blank page before me. Unbeknownst to me at the time, a few key strokes later I was on my way to becoming an author. A few weeks later, I had my first rough manuscript. I went through one rewrite and three edits. Finally. Submission. Multiple rejections later, I was developing what we authors term, a thick skin. But I didn’t give up. One morning I opened my email and….magic. I had an offer. Of course, I signed.

My second book was in the works when another story made its presence known. I stopped my paranormal to write my romantic comedy novella. This book, although a mere thirty five thousand words, came at a fierce pace. I wrote, submitted and contracted within three months. WOW! Why didn’t I do this before?

I wasn’t selling like crazy but that wasn’t the point. I was published. I was living the dream. Readers were buying my work. I felt overjoyed. Humbled. Grateful.

For the next year I worked feverishly on my writing, submitting new stories and jumping into the wacky world of publishing without a care in the world. I created a facebook page, I joined twitter and built my own website! I was up at 5:30am writing my blog. Yes. I impressed myself. I had six published titles and seven more in the works. I wrote every waking moment. I wrote while making dinner, on the car line at school, in between laundry loads. I read at night, downloading every chance I got. This was awesome. There’s no downside! Until…

It. All. Stopped. Just like that.

Illustration of a girl writer leaning on her chair while thinking

Illustration of a girl writer leaning on her chair while thinking

At first I didn’t worry. I figured I needed a break. But as weeks turned to months, I questioned my ability. Was I out of stories? I normally write by the seat of my pants, letting the characters dictate where the story will go. And they stopped talking. I was stuck. I sat at my computer day after day, willing the words to come. Some days, I’d get a sentence, some days a whole paragraph. If I was lucky, I’d get a full chapter but this writing thing was quickly becoming a job, no longer the adventure I was used to.

This made me question everything. Was I writer? Yes. But, did I have what it takes to be an author? I’ve learned every author goes through the doldrums. My creativity would return. Ten months later and I’ve just started to pull out of the slump. This is bad. Very bad. At first I wrote so much, so fast, I thought I was invincible but, turns out I’m not. I burned out.

My latest book took me to a place I never thought I’d go. Procrastination land. And you know what? I HATE that place. I bet purgatory isn’t as bad. It has taken me forever to finish this story. And while it’s still not complete, the hard part is over. I think. And as sure as I’m writing this blog, I know I will be back to writing. Maybe my stories won’t come so quickly, maybe they will take more time and patience to develop. I have to be okay with that.

If you’re a struggling writer, please know, you will eventually write again. It won’t all be shit either. You won’t chuck whole scenes at a time. And rejections are part of the process. Take the rejection and learn from it. Publishers want your book. They want a hit, just like you. And maybe if you pay attention to the good advice of the professionals, you’ll have it.

As for me, I’ll be taking my career to the next level. I’m becoming an indie author. I’m excited about this step and have already networked and met wonderful people who offer invaluable advice.

So…I will have a few titles hitting amazon this year. I’m targeting September so be patient with me, my kind readers. You keep me going. Thank you for your emails, words of encouragement and the will to keep writing. ((HUGS))

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