Did you know that today, the 15th of November is always America Recycles Day, National Bundt Pan Day (I know. Weird, right?) and believe it or not… it’s also I Love to Write Day!
How serendipitous is that?
When I learned of this obscure celebration, it was and it wasn’t so serendipitous. On one hand, it was great, seeing how I’m a writer looking for today’s subject. But I wasn’t feeling the joy because this year has been the worst yet for me in terms of feeling the urge to write, the need to get words on paper and finding inspiration. Many of you here know what an emotionally devastating year 2010 was for me. Multiple family members with health issues, three deaths, etc. But I’d also sold a book to Red Sage and had to keep pushing myself to finish rounds of edits and publisher info sheets for cover art and such. I had a contract, therefore no choice but to meet my obligations. Having something else to concentrate on was both a blessing and a curse.
Promotions were a different animal from the creative writing. Sure, I had to write guest posts and such, but I didn’t have to dig for character motivations and build a plot. Everything in me shied away from the creativity of fiction writing. I’m an empathetic person during the best of times, eyes prickling hot at Hallmark commercials and such, but suddenly I was crying over even small kindnesses portrayed on gritty police procedural shows.
Digging into a character’s emotional state was beyond my tolerance. You see, my empathy extends to my writing, my characters. If they’re sad, I’m sad and crying with them. If they’re cracking a joke, I’m chuckling along too. Digging into their emotions meant dealing with my own, and I still felt too fragile. Readers of Bittersweet Obsessions wanted to know if Klaus’s story would be next, so I started it, but couldn’t get past the first chapter and a little planning.
I gave myself a stern talking to several times, not that it helped. Others have encouraged me, and I appreciated their support, but the words still didn’t come. Gradually, though, I began to yearn for the feel of creating new characters, exploring their lives, helping them find their happily-ever-after’s. The anniversaries of the trio of deaths came and went. I survived and felt somewhat stronger. I re-read notes I’d made for new stories, but didn’t feel inspired to write them. Nothing spoke to me.
Every morning, I’d awaken, wishing a new story idea would be there like a gift waiting to be opened. Today it was there. It was there!
I eased from the bedroom quietly, went to my computer and began to make notes on the three strong, independent women clamoring to tell me their stories. They’re friends with uniquely personal sorrows and triumphs to share with me. They have hurts to heal and better days ahead, much like me.
For me, today is definitely I Love To Write Day!
Have you ever hit a writing slump that it didn’t feel like you’d ever get out of? Or do the ideas come to fast for you to get them all down? I’d love to hear your experiences too.