It has been well over a year since I have been able to write a short story or finish my next books. 2021 has been a devastating year as a writer, as I completely lost motivation, inspiration, and even momentum. It reached the point where even my regular blog suffered, with large gaps in-between entries. Writer’s Block has never felt so enviscerating, but what powerful things I found and learned in the darkness.
There is a lesson to be learned here, and not just by me. First of all, although I may have placed my author’s hat on hold until I find my mojo again, it didn’t stop me from embracing who I am – a writer. It doesn’t really matter how much or how little I churn out, or even if it is for a structured publication such as a short story or book, the important thing is to continue the journey either in a journal or a blog. If thoughts and ideas come to me in the middle of the night, I always write them down immediately before they vanish. Somehow, somewhere, all of these random thoughts and musings will find their way into the pages of a book, of that I am sure.
One of my aunts had a magical box of odds and ends stowed away in her cabinet. When asked, she never really knew what she was going to do any of it, but it was important for her to know that she was keeping them for a rainy day. Eventually, when the time came to make gifts or add an accent to an outfit, she always opened her box of treasures and found inspiration that never disappointed. I adopted this habit and began writing down topics I wanted to blog about whenever the mood struck. There is a lot of fantastic software you can use these days, that can be downloaded on your laptop or smart phone. I personally prefer Evernotes, but it’s really up to you.
Some of those idea never found their way only my keyboard, while others gave flight to more elaborate concepts that I was able to run with. The fear of facing the blank screen was so overwhelming on some days that I simply kept my distance from the torture machine altogether. Emails and other minor business matters were handled through my iPhone, and not much else. It was during my final days of psychotherapy earlier this year, however, that I finally found my river bend and rediscovered a new flow. So blogging has become a part of my daily routine again, as I pick up the pieces and all the little notes.
I’m beginning to understand why many authors and artists turned to alcohol for inspiration. When sobriety fails you, then anything that will catapult you to an alternative reality that enables you to pick up the pen again or the brush is a welcome poison. It is a poor excuse to turn to these potions and poisons, and many an author reached the point where they could only write when inebriated. Fortunately or unfortunately, this was not an option for me, so I wallowed in the emptiness instead, feet firmly planted in the clear and present danger. My potion is pain and prayer, and although it has taken me much longer to make love to the keyboard again, I no regrets other than lost time.
This time away from writing has also allowed me to take a good hard look at my suspended manuscripts. I’ve had lengthy conversations with my characters at all hours of the day or night, and even created new ones along the way. One thing is for sure, I am ditching everything and starting over.
I suppose you could call it the phoenix moment, rising from the the desolation and ashes, and Christmas is a good time to begin a new journey.
Wishing you all Happy Holidays and may the blessings of the season be with one and all.