Monday, August 17, 2015

To Write or Not to Write?

A crazy question for an author to pose, I realize, but it’s one I’ve been asking myself since I finished writing my last book. I often feel like, well, a fraud. I haven’t been penning masterpieces since I was six. I didn’t spend my formative years wondering what it would be like to see my book on the shelf in my local Barnes & Noble. I certainly never had the shakes from not creating my own fictional worlds. Truth be told, I spent most of my life hating writing. That’s right. You heard me. I HATED writing. With a white-hot passion.

Yet, here I am, an author with three books under her belt. If you’re interested in how I became an author, I’ll be happy to tell you the whole story. For now, we’ll return to the topic at hand. The burning question of whether or not to continue down this path has been haunting me for months. Sure, I was able to distract myself for a few weeks, what with the end of school, our trip to France to visit my husband’s family and the general craziness of summer.

But when the dust settled, it seemed as though the choice had been made for me. I honestly thought I had lost my writing mojo. *GASP* Every time I sat down with my laptop, my brain would freeze. I totally choked. Not one intelligible thing would come out. Unable to believe I could so easily lose a talent as stellar as mine (ha!), I quickly shifted into rationalization mode. You know the drill: find any excuse not to put your brilliant words to the page. I came up with some really good ones, if I do say so myself.

*I don’t have time to write.

I’m a stay-at-home mom. My boys keep me really busy! I don’t have a spare moment to myself! Yeah...somehow I found the time to watch all eleven seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. Clearly my reasoning was flawed. Shhh! It’ll be our secret.

*I have to exercise–doctor’s orders.

Since when has my life been ruled by such things? Well, I may be a bit of a hypochondriac AND have a few pounds to lose after overindulging my pastry obsession in France. And my wine obsession. And my chocolate ob–shutting up now.

*I need to clean the–

OK, I can’t even finish that sentence. I truly abhor cleaning, but I did it anyway in my tireless effort to avoid writing. My house was sparkling, but I was miserable.

*Summer is the time to spend with your kids. My boys NEED me.

Not as much as I needed them to distract me. Once they had hit their Mommy quota for the day, they were ready to hang out with friends–both two and three dimensional. (They love their video games a little too much. I really need to cut down their tablet time.)

Once I reached the end of my list of justifications, I thought all hope was lost. I was convinced my ability to tell amusing stories had been a fluke that left as quickly as it had come. It seems I was wrong. (It happens occasionally. OK. It happens often.) One night last week I couldn’t sleep. My youngest had a nightmare–the kind with such blood curdling screams that you think an intruder is trying to steal him. I flew out of bed, comforted him and sleepily acknowledged I had lost yet another of my nine lives.

Long after I had him settled back in bed, my heart was still racing. Then the most bizarre thing happened. My brain started filling in details for my next book. I had only done basic character sketches and a jotted down a few plot points, so there was barely even a skeleton. Suddenly everything started to fall into place. It was AMAZING.

And just like that, I decided to keep writing. For now. ;)

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