Thursday, March 7, 2013


Every writer hits a few rough spots in the road. Some may be internal (no new writing ideas). Others may be external (family or job issues). And a few may be health issues (medication or illness).

But the time comes when the writer must move forward or give up. Writing is one of those creative crafts that recede the longer you wait between the working stints. Once you stop, it's increasingly harder to start again.

Personally, I'm a putterer between sprints. I research. I mull. I play mental 'what if'. Occasionally, in desperation I write a jump start--a short exercise with new characters, new scenes.

Then, the day arrives when I sit at my computer and write. That is not to say it isn't a struggle. As I get older, the words sometimes elude me. I KNOW the correct word, but can't dig it out from my memory. When I'm rolling, every halt to pin down the right word is another road block.

Why do I do it? Because nothing gives me that sense of accomplishment and fulfillment like writing does. The creative process is hard. But when I go back, when I reread my work, I'm amazed that I wrote that. I don't recall putting exactly those words and those ideas together and the very notion that I'm a published writer serves to lift me and encourage me.

I spent some time this last two weeks rereading the stories that precede my current works in progress. Part of that is simply because we forget what we wrote. Oh, not the main sense of the story, but the details. Actually, we forget a LOT of the details. For instance, I've used Shadrach as a secondary character's name in three different series! I didn't remember that.

I was also rereading them to assess how difficult it would be to revise two short stories I have the rights for so they would fit in other series of mine. I think I can do it. And I liked those characters enough I want them to have a wider exposure than they received the first time around. I believe they just weren't in the right place at the right time.

So the time has come. Now I have to 'put up or shut up'. And I find I'm not ready to shut up.