When Nancy asked me to be her guest blogger today, my first emotion was dismay. After all, I haven’t written anything to speak of for over two years. Prior to that, I’d been an active member of an online critique group with two novels under my belt and a third in outline form.
Writing fiction came into my life later than most, although at the tender age of 8, I penned the first line of what I then hoped would be The Great American Novel: “Will the Boots and Saddles Club please come to order!”
Not knowing what came next scared me so badly, my next attempt fiction didn’t happen for another 40 years. As early retirement began to loom large on the horizon, it became obvious that if I were ever going to achieve my dream of writing novels, I’d better get cracking.
Over the next few years, my self-education consisted of “how to write” books, classes, critique groups, and sheer determination. Words would flow from my fingers, and I’d wonder in which crevice of my brain they’d been hiding. I was jaw-droppingly fascinated when my characters wrested control of a scene from me. Rejections came, the bane of every writer. I learned to accept them with resignation, or, increasingly, joy over a hand-written note from an agent. My last novel came this close to being published. All I needed to do was “make a few more changes.”
Then, in the middle of the umpteenth “final” draft, it all stopped. No ordinary “writer’s block,” the words simply would not come. The onset of this creative drought coincided with the death of my spouse after a long illness. I’ve since heard of other people whose creative flow dried to a trickle in the face of personal trauma. It happens. Some people find solace in writing. Some don’t. Apparently, I fall into the latter category.
I share this with you because some of you might also be experiencing a creative drought. As of today, I want to assure you it isn’t permanent. After two years, my “how to write” books are calling to me again as I sit at my computer. The old excitement of putting words on paper is stirring awake. Will the long hiatus change the tenor of my writing? If so, will it be for the better, or simply be different? I haven’t a clue, but I’m eager to find out.
May you discover peace, delight, and many blessings in your own creative journey, no matter what obstacles you encounter along the way.