As you now know after reading my most recent Soulmate Press Blog Posts, I am a recovering blocked writer. After nearly a year of a research project for work, requiring a lot of time, travel and energy, I was unable to write fiction, and starting to believe I might never be able to finish another novel,
Taking writing classes helped, as well as putting away the Urban Fantasy manuscript that required more research and more energy than I had. I started to write in a new genre (for me), a Contemporary Western Romance. It could also be considered Women’s Fiction with Romantic Elements. That’s because I write what I know, and I am deeply involved and passionate about current events with my nonfiction as well. And since childhood, have loved everything to do with cowboys, cowgirls, and horses.
I’m trying not to get derailed by what this novel is. I have always written genre mashups, and just the fact that I had 20,000 words and a basic outline was good enough. But I couldn’t find the time, or discipline to write everyday. Until I got a random Facebook announcement sent to fellow SMP authors about Happy 100s: A 100 words a day for 100 days challenge. That seemed karmic since I’ve been avoiding Facebook recently, both because of both the distraction and distress factors.
I joined, a few days late. And I missed a few days along the way while getting the research project, Powerpoint and poster ready for presentation. But the Contemporary. Western, Women’s Fiction manuscript, which might need the disclaimer “the events are real but names have been changed to protect the innocent–and the guilty,” now totals 67,000 words. Most days I wrote at least 500-1000 words, and sometimes up to almost 5000.
I was waking up at night with dialogue in my head so good, I had to get up and put it on paper. It’s a sloppy first draft, but that’s okay. And that’s also why I get up to type instead of scribbling in the dark, which is mostly unintelligible the next morning. My kid was yelling that I, once more, wasn’t paying attention to anything except my stupid computer.
I was panicked on the last day, because the accountability really does help. But a few of us have decided to continue on–which means I do not have to stress with NaNoWriMo.
I hesitate to say I’m cured. But I’ve entered some contests with both this manuscript and the urban fantasy, and have the fourth book in the Unfinished Business series started. I’ve weaned myself away from social media and am focused on writing.
With any luck, I’ll have two novels finished by this time next year. Even if I’m not cured, my writer’s block is in remission.