by Carol Burnside
(aka Annie Rayburn)
Confession: I’ve been in a writing slump of late, but I think an epiphany may have catapulted me out of it. Let me explain…
Speaking of that writing slump, by ‘of late’ I mean off and on for the last two years. Part of the writing slump had to do with personal losses and how it affected my emotional/mental health. Part of the slump had to do with how long I’ve been writing without getting that ‘big break’. Oh, I won contests and placed in others, I got requests from editors and even had them wanting revisions, even got breath-holding close to getting a contract from a BIG-NAME publisher. But in the end, the accumulated ‘no’s’ had taken their toll.
Bless her heart (and I mean that sincerely), Susan Carlisle was a bright spot in my slump. During critiques or occasionally when I asked her to listen to a small passage I read, she always had encouraging words to say about my writing, my story ideas, my characters. [I could love that woman for this alone, but there are many other reasons to do so. She’s an outstanding friend!]
Recently, the link to a recommended blog post appeared on more than one loop I’m a memberof. I clicked on the link, not really expecting anything earth-shattering, but was pleasantly surprised. The title of the post was The Business Rusch: Perfection. It covers several topics all writers deal with – striving for perfection in our writing, the over-value we often place on critiques, automatically looking for the bad while critiquing rather than just reading for enjoyment first, the power we give to others regarding our work, trusting ourselves and the story we want to tell. That wasn’t everything Kristine Kathryn Rusch touched on for the post is lengthy, but it’s worth a read, even if you have to come back to it and re-read to digest the message.
I think it would even other creative types such as artists and musicians could glean important lessons from it as well, but I digress. Basically, I’m saying – GO READ THAT POST.
But before you go, the result of my epiphany is that I’ve re-read some of my manuscripts. I’ve made plans to finish several stories I felt stalled on. I fell in love with writing again. As a result, I bought two beautiful covers for books I want to release on my own, but one of them is the third in a trilogy, so I’m looking for more. The point is that I believe once again that there is an audience for my books, I believe in the stories I wrote, I believe others will fall in love with them just like I did.
I have more than writing and editing and covers to occupy me now. I’ve got a marketing plan to put in place and dates to put on my calendar and… well, stay tuned because Carol Burnside and Annie Rayburn are once again excited about STORY, CHARACTERS, PLOT, the way words paint a picture again and have BIG PLANS.