Sunday, November 10, 2013

God Bless NaNoWriMo, Good Friends and Loki

Thanks to the boost of NaNoWriMo and some serious soul searching, I'm writing again. In addition to the constraints of time and the commitments of job and family, one of the reasons I've not been writing lately is that it wasn't fun. I was worried about what genre things were, what audience, would I have to work with X publisher, etc.

I realized that was the source of my writer's block. Yes, time has been a problem, but the source of my writer's block has been the fact that writing wasn't fun anymore. Somewhere it had stopped being about telling the story in my head and started being about whether or not anyone cared, would like it, where it fit, etc.  So Wrong!

While writers love their readers, we really do, we need to remember that ultimately we write for ourselves. We write for the people that live inside our heads, the people who play out their stories in our minds and who tell us those stories. They trust us to commit them to words the way that they need to be told, not force them into a genre or worry if anyone will get it.

Writing needs to be fun again.

I discovered recently that a friend whose fanfiction I devoured as faithfully as I read her non-fanfic work, was still writing fanfiction despite having focused on publishing her original works. (Not that her fanfic isn't original, it's some of the best and the plots and characters were vastly original.) Here was the brilliant Jennifer Melzer still having fun with her writing.

I was so jealous! 

Tom Hiddleston as Loki from the Marvel franchise
Then came NaNoWriMo and the old urge to write came back. So now a piece I'd played with, written a chapter or two of a long time ago has been dusted off and come out of hiding. I've added 17, 100 words to it in the last week. It's now more than twice the original length and I feel like I'm just getting started.

And every time I get worried about it, I remember a quote from Tom Hiddleston who plays Loki. When advising a young thespian who was going to be playing Loki in a school production, he said the important thing was to remember that through it all, in everything Loki does, he's having fun. It's always about the mischief and the fun.

Go Loki!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Umph Gone

I tend to post in spurts. Not exactly an attractive thought, but there it is. Today I looked over my blog and realized I hadn't posted since September. Part of me isn't surprised.

My writing slowed to a trickle when my son Z was born in 2008. Now, with the birth of my twin girls in September of 2012, I'm afraid it's ground to a screeching halt. And what I've been thinking lately as I rock a child to sleep, fuss about toys that need to be picked up, corral dogs and worry about what I'm actually going to do in my day job that day; I've realized I miss the writer I knew. I very much feel like I'm no longer that person. She was a separate entity from silly little me with my permanent stress headache, far more gray hair and the worry lines around my eyes and mouth.

Even in the very rare moments of quiet I find I can't write even if the opportunity presents itself. I sit at the computer, maybe edit a page or two of one of the multitude of WIPs saved on my computer and can't find the umph to write. Forget romance. You have to feel romantic, feel loved and respected, feel sexy to write romance. Lately all I feel is tired and embattled.

So for those of you waiting for the next story in the series I had begun to come out, I apologize. There aren't many of you, so somehow I don't think I'll be disappointing many people. Readers have moved on, if there were any. I have the next story all mapped out, know what needs to happen, but right now my hero is sitting in a wheelchair, soaked to the skin and very drunk. My heroine is two rooms away trying to get some much needed peace and quiet while his music pounds away loudly. And they've been there for four years now.

Elyssa Edwards isn't doing much better. Her hero is stuck monitoring juvenile delinquents and she can't quite get him out of the scene.

So we plod onward, making no real progress and hoping and wishing for that magical moment when we'll feel like writing again, when we'll have time. Ah, the slippery slope that has killed many a potential writer's ambitions. But when I think of my former editor's admonition, "Butt in seat, fingers on keys" all I can think of is which fingers? The ones changing the diapers, feeding the baby, stopping the dogs from eating each other or the ones that long to go in my ears as I scream, "Lalalalalalalala" and pretend I can't hear the call of adulthood and responsibility shrieking in my face.