I got my fabulous cat art plaque yesterday. I’m so excited about it I have to show EVERYONE! So without further ado, here it is:
Hand painted original creation by the awesome @Epers (on twitter)
Writers block can be a big problem for many writers. I don’t typically have this problem. I usually try to write every day even if I am not feeling the magic once I start writing the magic somehow finds its way to my pen/fingers. But lately I’ve suffered something similar. I have a novel I’m working on that doesn’t seem to captivate me like all the others I’ve written.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the characters and learning what makes them tick. Finding out how they got from here to there physically and emotionally. But I don’t have them pestering me all day. They aren’t fighting for every spare bit of my consciousness like all my other stories/characters have.
There are many things that can cause this kind of problem. It might just be that the story doesn’t have what it takes, other ideas might just have a higher priority, or life might be getting in the way. For me it’s maybe a bit of all three, with the latter having the lion’s share of the blame.
So how do you get past this problem, you ask? Well for everyone it is different. For me, since this was a multi issue problem it requires multiple things to create a solution. First I had to make the difficult decision to set this current work in progress aside, at least until it holds the same pull over me that requires I write it to free myself. It’s the second thing that I’d like to address though.
It’s something that I think applies to everyone, not just writers. Sometimes in the process of living life I think we forget why we are doing it. We lose sight of what’s important. In doing this I think we often forget what it feels like to be us, or at least the us that we actually like.
So, in order to get our mojo back we have to remember/find the us that is worth commuting 55 miles a day, each way for, or working a job that doesn’t satisfy us so we can afford to do the thing we love, or just getting out of bed for. I can’t tell you what will do this for you, but for me it’s usually something physical. Hitting the treadmill hard while blaring some soul salve music, taking the dogs and spending a day on the trail, or my favorite, dancing around the living room while singing at the top of my lungs.
(Thank goodness I live on a couple of acres so no neighbors ears will be caused to bleed so I can regain my mojo!)
No matter how you do it though, I find that reconnecting with myself not only makes me a better writer, but a better friend, love, and overall human. And if nothing else, it makes life a heck of a lot more fun.
And that’s my story.
Tonight, as I was running down to the mail box. I know, it’s a little late at 10:30pm to be running up the road to the mail box but I was really hoping my Dragon Naturally Speaking software would be in it. So I braved the dark to go check.
I know what you’re thinking and yes, I am afraid of the dark. I admit it freely. I used to try to deny my fear as a child. We had this hallway that seemed long and frightening. There were light switches at either end but they didn’t work properly and if you flicked the one at the end by my bedroom it would disable the main switch which would make my father angry.
Because of this I spent much of my time trying to remain calm as I walked out, only to give into my fear and race down the hallway, dropping to a casual walk as I exited the darkened passage. No one was the wiser as I entered the living room.
In my bedroom the closet always transformed in the night from the safe depository for my toys, into the sinister home of lurking monsters. I lay awake many a night staring at the form of some unknown creature, sure that if I kept watch, never averting my eyes, it would remain frozen, bound by some childhood/bedroom monster clause. Like, if the blankets cover every inch of me, even though I may suffocate. I’ll still be safe because the closet/under bed scaries can’t touch me.
So, as you grow up you think these irrational fears would go away right? You’d be older and wiser and simply know better. Right? Wrong. They either remain or are replaced by other irrational fears. So, here’s the thought that prompted this post.
I know there are no such things as closet/under-the-bed monsters but that does not stop me from conjuring the image of the giant dog from Lady in the Water every time I get out of my truck at night. I always imagine him standing there waiting for me in the trees but I know if I face him he cannot move. See, I know some of the rules that govern the monsters. But they are monsters and therefore sneaky.
I’ve got him outsmarted right? If I don’t show him my back he can’t get me. But he knows me. He watches me every day when I get home. He knows that I’ll be watching the place he’ll be, trapping him. So, what if instead of hiding in the cover of trees, he stands in plain sight. While I, sure I’ve got him trapped, back right into the tricky bugger because I was watching the woods?
My question then is, did he outsmart me or did I outsmart myself?
Between this post and my others about catfish men and the world the way I see it, a reader might get the idea that I’m a little off. Really though, I think I’m pretty normal. We all have crazy, irrational fears. It’s how you respond to these fears that matters.
You can let them control you and keep you from doing or being who you want or you can walk the length of the hallway rather than run or accept a date with someone you wouldn’t normally consider rather than making excuses for why you shouldn’t or any of the other things we keep ourselves from doing because it’s easier not to face our fear.
This week I’m going to do at least one thing that scares me because it’s when we challenge ourselves that we find we have more strength than we knew.What are the things that scare you?