I’d like to introduce today’s guest blogger, my good friend and critique partner, Melissa Francis. Mel writes fabulously funny women’s fiction and paranormal YA. Her YA novels, Bite Me! and Love Sucks! have received outstanding literary reviews and have recently been sold for foreign rights. You can connect with Mel via her blog, Facebook or Twitter.
Now I’m not talking about my ability to bust a move. (Whew!) I’m talking about my writing rhythm.
I was going through a divorce and even though it was amicable (I hate that word), it was still a giant source of stress for me. The divorce has been final for almost a year, he and I are still friends and my stress level has returned to normal. Almost.
This life change sucked the joy out of my writing. Even reading became a chore. And when reading is no longer joyful for me, you know there’s a problem.
I’ve tried over the year to find my rhythm…to get back into my groove. But every time I sat down to read or write, I would suddenly have to balance the checkbook (something I haven’t done in 2 years, thanks to online banking) or clean (something I’ve never done on purpose) or paint a wall, or dig a ditch, or run a marathon, or…well, you get the picture.
Things seem to be changing for me now. I find myself plotting my new story idea in my head and playing with the characters. I’m getting more and more excited about the thought of writing. AND I’ve actually been reading a little bit! (yay!) But the point of all this (and I have one) is that I finally WANT to read and write again.
Daily writing has been out of my life for so long, it’s hard for me to find a way to work it back in. You know, it’s a lot like exercise. Once I’m doing it every day, I don’t want to stop, but how can I get back to that point?
What do you do when you lose your mojo? People told me to force myself to write, but that made me feel worse. I couldn’t make myself do it (now if I had been on deadline, I’m pretty sure that would’ve been a different story!) I really had to just let it all work out naturally. But it’s taken so long, that I feel almost out of sorts now. But NOW is the time that I have to develop my new routine and force myself to stick to it…now that it isn’t physically painful to try to write. Who am I kidding? If writing ain’t painful, you ain’t doin’ it right!
I’ve decided to commit to starting off with a small goal, like two hours a week. Then I can add to it as the weeks pass, and hopefully, before I know it, I’m writing daily again. Mel needs to get her groove back. (and if there’s a volunteer who’d like to whisk me away to the Caribbean where a young, hot, partially clothed island boy serves as inspiration, then I’m okay with that…)