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December 12, 2014

Writing Droughts and Other Meteorological Phenomena

This has been a weird year, writing-wise. I got a couple of stories down like gangbusters in the beginning of the year. One of those stories, He's Just Knot That Into You, is coming out next year with Dreamspinner Press, and I'm really excited. It's my werewolf story that will have at least two more stories to follow.

After finishing that story in the spring, however, I've fallen into the pit of a massive writing drought. Like the ongoing three-year drought in California, my word well has been bone dry. It's sad. It's discouraging. I see friends who are finishing stories left and right, and I'm super excited for them. But then I look at myself and ask, "Why can't I get started?"

It all started when my poor Nico-kitteh died in June. I haven't written more than a couple thousand words since then. The initial writer's block isn't unexpected--I was pretty depressed and down in the dumps, no matter how much his cancer meant I should have anticipated his passing. After a certain point in time, though, I started to wonder what's normal?  As one month turned into three, then five, I found myself questioning why it was taking me so long to "get back on that horse," so to speak.

As month six passed recently, I realized something: there is no normal. Everyone grieves in different ways and on different timelines. And, with writing, you can't force it. Because if you do, it'll only be insincere.

Sure, I'm a pecker. (Not that kind!) =) I hunt for and peck out every single phrase when I'm writing. It's never a flowing explosion of words; rather, each sentence is carefully considered before even landing on the screen. However, to get in that head space of creation, I have to be in the mood to visit those places.

And, unfortunately, I haven't been anywhere close lately.

That's okay, though. I'm coming to realize droughts just happen, and I can only hope that, one day, the urge to create through words will be there.

On a lighter note, I've been creating through crafts this season. I doubt it's a coincidence I start to crochet my fingers off the second the temperature gets even remotely nippy. So now I'm crocheting tons and really enjoying myself. I've made hats for friends' children, slippers for my mom, a whole army of cute little amigurumi octopi (one of which an author friend commissioned me to make for her daughter), and a dear friend even commissioned me to make a pair of boot cuffs for her to give as a gift.

Crocheting has been fun and therapeutic. It fills me with a sense of accomplishment when I see the finished product--I've turned a ball of yarn into something wearable! And cute! And my friends appreciate the handmade gifts I've sent around the country.

So, while I still am flailing around in my empty well of words, I've at least found another pool in which I can swim and express myself creatively. Crocheting might not get me any closer to writing the sequel to #HJKTIY or the short story follow up (of which I have those couple thousand words from the past six months), but at least it's something that truly makes me happy, which is a place for which I've been searching for quite some time.

On that note, anyone interested in commissioning an octopus? ;)

Wishing everyone a warm and wonderful holiday season!