Monday, April 9, 2018

The Thing that We Shall Not Name


So what’s been happening?

Well, there have been the edits on my new book coming out this fall. That was scary—until I finally opened the file and realized it wasn’t a deep hole. In fact, it was WAY easier than I thought it would be.

I’ve actually been putting a lot of things off, thinking they might overwhelm me. I try to reason with myself. Overwhelming is not death. It isn’t forever. It’s scary, yes, but it shouldn’t be paralyzing.

But it is/can be.

Which is why I’m going to confess: I’ve been somewhat writer’s blocked.

Of course, it might not seem like it with over a dozen publishing credits in the last year and the book contract. But most of this was previously generated material. The newest bits were also flashes, some as small as 50 words. It seemed I couldn’t get started. More than that my confidence level has been nil.

Again all this seems the opposite of what one would be experiencing especially after what must be objectively considered a “good” year.

I tried not to let Trump consume my emotional life. Yet, the anger and frustration is there. Boiling beneath the surface. At this point I don’t even want to talk or write about him anymore. He’s already taken up too much energy, valuable resources from me.

Maybe he was a convenient excuse. I think I know what’s been inhibiting me. And, when I tell you, I believe you will understand why I’ve been reluctant to start writing new stories, telling a tale longer than a few pages.

About 18 months ago I wrote a story. It was a bit like wringing out a washcloth. A struggle to get the words out. It was an ugly story. I knew it needed a whuppin’, a heavy-handed revision, and planned to get back to it. I waited and when I had gumption I went to my Documents file.

Where was it? Oh my God. I used a dozen search words and still nothing. I did manage to locate my research file and the file for false starts. You see I have a tendency not to accurately label or title files. Word tries to help me be better organized and if I were organized this would be a big help. But a disorganized person haphazardly doesn’t get around to using the tools in their toolbox.

I had a tech friend come and help. He found duplicates of the files I’d already (Now, finally!) organized. But not the story. It was gone. Then came the election.

Then my critique partner moved to California. I felt like I was losing my grip on so many things.

Well, this week I opened a blank page and SAVED it before even putting down a line of words. I named it the same name as the file I’d lost a year and a half ago. AND I REWROTE THAT MOTHER. I faced up and wrote it out better.

The relief I’m now feeling is like----I’m back!


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