Today I’m picking up where I left off on Writer’s Block or Creative Hibernation Part One, which I can now subtitle, “When Life Intrudes.” The vast majority of authors I know have day jobs–and families (which may include older parents and usually includes pets). That means we’re on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And that means we have to carve out writing time when we should be doing something else. Like sleeping and eating.
We make the transition between the three jobs look easy, by sticking to a routine. But when the inevitable emergency or necessary distractions like vacations, holidays, birthdays or other family events intrude, our discipline relaxes and may wane as we fight to keep our heads above water.
I had forgotten that as I struggled to finish Storm Watch and get it launched last December. I considered the 20,000 words of my new urban fantasy series that I did complete for NaNoWriMo a victory as I was gearing up for release events.
The two series are in very different worlds, and the plots very complex, requiring exhaustive, and exhausting, boots on the ground research. That did come along, in the form of my medical mission to storm ravaged Puerto Rico (where parts of the new series are set), but the real life drama upstaged the fiction.
Two rejections of other projects did nothing to help my motivation. But to get out of the house, I accepted an invitation to HELIOsphere, a fledgling sci-fi/fantasy/horror convention in New York. Post ‘Noreaster #2 not withstanding, the weather was sunny, the traffic, though stopped dead for 20 minutes cleared, and I made it to my first panel on time.
Four veteran writers, including myself, shared how writer’s groups had helped us succeed. We helped at least one aspiring author find the groups that suited him best, and I wandered into another panel on rejection, expecting to be bored. Instead, I heard multi published, veteran writers talk about rejection and getting back into the saddle by writing something else. Anything. I teared up, but big girls don’t cry. They fight back. I went on to a Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading and chose the first chapter of. Storm Watch. It seemed fitting.
Writers write. Life can’t stop us, though it may slow us down. I didn’t need a name tag. The Unfinished Business series arranged in front of me, and the story of its birth and growth was the only one I needed to tell that day. Tomorrow, well, it’s another day.