I love writing. L-O-V-E it. The need to build a world, delve into a character’s feelings, create a mood, or explain a concept in a down-to-earth way (often with a bit of humor, and lots of em dashes and parentheses) has lived in me since at least seventh grade.
But that doesn’t mean I always sit down and do it, even when I theoretically have the time. A deployment, a new training platform, a high school graduation, my husband’s retirement from the Air Force, and a Boston-to-Sacramento move took far more of my mental energy over the last year than I expected. I got a little off track, a little out of routine, and my word count plummeted.
But now I’m out of hotels, into my home office, back on an irregular regular writing schedule, and most importantly, mentally back on track.
I’ve written on 17 of the last 18 days and produced more than 11,000 good words on my current WIP. *insert happy dance*
It feels fantastic. There is nothing like finally seeing forward progress in the story—my hero and heroine finally left the damn airport!—after months of going nowhere.
It's more than being productive in a way that matters to me, but being immersed in my story daily, even if just for fifteen minutes. That daily attention keeps the ideas rolling in, and makes it easier to take advantage of the small gaps in my day where I can fit in a few words, because I haven’t forgotten where my characters are. Or who they are. Writing frequently brings back the joy I had when I first started.
That joy is worth more than gold. (Well, except you can't buy books with it. Sigh.)
This is a lesson I seem to have to learn over and over, unfortunately.
But another lesson I’ve learned recently (also, again) is that sometimes I need to turn off the pressure valve and simply enjoy the distractions in my life. The last year has been crazy busy, but full of other moments that brought joy, some of them the last with my youngest son before he goes to college. Before we become empty nesters.
Before I theoretically have a lot more time to write. Again.
What gets in the way of your writing? How do you turn things around?