The Motivation Can Be Hard to Find Sometimes…..

I have decided that I would MUCH rather write than try to get anything I write published.  Writing is fun, creative, relaxing.  Trying to find a literary agent takes time, isn’t fun, is stressful and can bruise the ego, too.  So, my way to deal with this since Christmas was to essentially not do anything.

In all fairness, I didn’t do much writing for the last 3 months, either.  I opened up my newest book to get reacquainted and found I had only written 9 pages and that the last time I saved anything was on October 31, 2016.  This makes sense to me, as Halloween has always been the official “unoffical” start to the holiday season.  It is when other things occupy my already limited time and my brain’s creative juice turn more to how to give 4 kids a good Christmas on a shoestring budget than to write.  The limited time I did have was spent re-editing (again) my first two books, creating a webpage and starting this blog.

But, man, did it feel good the other day to re-open that book and get started.  I thought I had lost my momentum, but instead, in two days, 8 more pages have come pouring out.  That doesn’t sound like much, I know, but for the 1 hour I have been able to spend on it in the past two days, I think 8 pages is actually a pretty decent showing!  I picked right up where my characters left off and I am excited about where it is all going.

Stress is a funny thing, though.  It has a way of creeping in and diverting priorities.  It also changes a writer’s mind.  It is interesting the things I focus on in my stories depending on the day I am writing.  On the days were I am full of turmoil, my characters experience more angst.  The days where I feel stress’ grip lessen for me, I write more light-hearted events in the story.

My writing speed is also driven my my stress level.  When I am very stressed and writing becomes my outlet, the words fall out faster than my fingers can type.  When I am stressed, but focusing on other things, I am slower than molasses in December in the Antarctic.  Stress also affects my ability to write romance.  When I am too worked up about anything, my mind is just not in a romantic state.

For now, because of what is going on in my personal life, I will, for the most part, continue on my hiatus from trying to get published and instead just write for the sake of channeling my nervous energy somewhere else. I know that I should keep on with trying to find an agent, but at the same time, it seems like it would just add extra stress and that pretty much defeats the purpose in why I started writing in the first place.

The fact of the matter is that it is incredible that I wrote two novels in the course of 1 year and started on a third.  In fact, I actually wrote two novels and started on a third in 10 months.  We aren’t talking short novels, either; my two finished manuscripts are both around 350 pages on 8.5 x 11 paper, so in book pages, that is closer to 550 pages.  I am still amazed what came out of MY brain…  MY imagination.  I kind of don’t really care if they ever get published or not, honestly.  The people who have actually read them seem to like them, but I don’t know if I care enough about getting them out there for others to read that I am willing to take on the stress of getting them published when instead I can focus on what writing was supposed to be in the first place:  An outlet.

So, I have chosen to put writing ahead of publishing.  I will still be looking for agents and if I get published, wonderful.  But, my focus needs to be on creating right now for my own sanity!

Hit by the bug….

I started on my third book back in October.  I was so excited and wrote out the first 10 pages in one go.  Then, life hit.  First it was the holidays, then it was the clean up from the holidays and then my computer decided to die.  (Okay.  I lied.  First came the computer dying, then, the last weekend before February 1, I cleaned up the Christmas stuff.)  I do have to say that I panicked a little when my computer crashed about losing those first ten pages.  My other two books have been saved in a few different locations, but the new one had not yet been.  Thankfully, the pages were recovered by my magic computer guru friend and for the first time in I don’t know how long, I opened them and reread them last night.  I am pleased with what was there.  It is always a lovely surprise to go back and read what you wrote from awhile ago and still think it is good.  But, now, the problem is, I have the “bug” to keep writing now.

This normally would be a good thing, except that there is a lot I need to do still to get caught up from our crazy last quarter of 2016.  I have files to make, papers to sort, laundry to do and basically all of the things that I put off when I wrote the first two books.  I became somewhat obsessive and let a lot of things slide while I wrote before.  I need to focus on getting those things caught up and finished before embarking on another journey into the recesses of my mind.  Except….  Those things stress me out and writing is my “happy place”. So, a bit of a damned if I do, damned if I don’t scenario is beginning to play out.

I also have to work on trying to find a literary agent for my first two books.  I have discovered that while writing helps me relax and escape to my “happy place”, trying to get them published is….  Well, not so much.  I, like I suppose most people who do something unique and personal, want to create something, not market it.  It is deeply personal to me and to pimp it out in the world is difficult and painful, to say the least.  It isn’t even about the rejection:  I know that sometimes some stories are just not the right fit.  It is instead about taking something that was fun and relaxing, a way to de-stress and refocus, and turning it into something stressful.

I want what I write to be entertaining and interesting.  I want people to pick it up and read it and find it as much of an escape reading it as I did writing it.  It is exposing a deeper part of myself to the world; showing strangers the innermost workings of my mind. My thought processes and imagination are on full display.  Honestly, I think I would feel less self conscious about having a pap smear in the mall as I do about sending out my personal thoughts and creativity out for someone else to deem worthy or not.  At least physically, as a woman, to expose my body, though also personal, would be less intimidating because though my body is my own, it isn’t too different than half of the population on this planet.  But my mind is all mine.  What goes on inside those deep crevices is different than any other of the over 7 billion people with whom I share this rock.

So, in the whole scope of my to-do list, I am really not upset that I have to put the pimping of my books on the back burner for awhile so that I can reorganize and recenter.  Therefore, though I have to put my writing aside for awhile in order to play catch up, it also means I have a legitimate excuse to not have to try and find an agent for awhile.  I just hope that I get to the point where I can write to decompress again and not worry about the other side of it.