Relax … I’m right (or write) here. But yes, it has been a very long time since I’ve sent out a post. Mea Culpa. Ambo te ignosce me.
For someone who can’t shut up in real life, you would think I’d blog early and often. Alas, life has gotten in the way: some of it good – much of it not. It is difficult to deal with a world full of animosity and politics, daily horrors in the news, and troubles with family and work, yet still create. I know I’m told over and over that it’s the creativity that will dispel the ennui. While that may be true, reality tends to muck about with that concept.
So … what do you do? You can a) just get over it and move along (I’m way too high strung to do that – my off switch doesn’t respond to sudden prodding,) b) curl up in a ball while giving up (tempting,) or c) pull out every trick you have and batter your way through it like a Viking seeking Mead.
I confess: for the last 9-months, I’ve been marginally following plan b. It’s the easy route. Give up. Walk away. Surrender. Lower your artistic standards, put your hands over your ears, and repeat La La La La I Can’t Hear You La La La.
The truth is, art … in all its forms … is an act of courage, determination, effort, and often resistance. Has anyone noticed that the arts seem to be fading or disappearing? Have you been offered insultingly trivial payment or no payment at all for your creations? Been told to go get a “real job” because you’ll never be able to do X, Y, or Z for a living? It is the current social unrelenting message and it takes a Herculean effort to continue. Toss in a coming death in the family, parents forced to move and to accept assisted living, work that is soul numbing, daily news reels, and a crushing economic reality … and yeah baby, it’s more than cold outside.
Of recent … and encouraged by both the inspiring success of fellow authors and the good will of loving friends … I’ve decided plan b is for the birds. I deal with depression (yeah, I’m so alone in that, right??) and anxiety, so plan a is out! That leaves me and my soul with the one true option: plan c. Fight like hell. Apparently, Mead may or may not be involved.
With me? Dealing with the same? Let’s give society a big kick in the ass and tell it to get the hell out of the way.
- Organize like your life depends on it – and it does! I’ve started reading how to books, listening to more audio-books of the genres I adore or want to try. I’ve started using the Writemind Planner (http://www.perryelisabethdesign.com) to keep my notes together … it’s a small investment, but so far, very worth it.
- Giving yourself permission to suck – to blow chunks – to fail spectacularly, and to start over. If what I’m writing doesn’t rock my world, it gets shelved or reworked. *Note: don’t throw away old versions or shelved projects, you’ll be amazed when those become handy.* Perfection, as much as we ever get of it, comes with editing, not with the first draft. Write crap. Wince when you see it on paper. Just get it down on paper, fix it later.
- Clean and Beautify your art space. Nothing will give you writer’s block more than having a messy space. Clutter, I understand, but messy – it will kill your artistic energy faster than a negative Amazon review.
- Set Schedules and Boundaries. Keep to it. So, you don’t write the 1k words you planned to – did you sit down and give it an honest go? Did you edit instead of drafting? Did you reorganize your theme and plot? Did you outline? Cool! All of those actions count as use of your scheduled time and closed doors. Make a ritual out of starting and finishing for the day. Join NaNoWriMo in November. Be solidly determined yet flexible (just in case you decide you need to make practical changes.)
Meanwhile, I haven’t been entirely idle: I am working on three … yes, three … projects which started around February.
To Venture My Blood: Elizabethan England with technology it shouldn’t have. Spies. Saboteurs. Assassins. And a woman with a mind like Sherlock Holmes.
Viva Las Muertas: Yes, bad Spanish – but when you’re a mystery writer hanging out at a Rockabilly convention, you just go with literary license – until there’s a real murder and you may be the only person with all the facts. Cozy mystery meets Rock-n-Roll.
Disoriented on the Murder Express: Nazis, Super-locomotives, Secrets, and a female Private Investigator who reads far too many Chandler novels. The Big Sleep meets technology head on. For an upcoming anthology.
Whew … just writing all that makes me feel energized. Expect to hear from me again, soon. I still promise not to spam you, but this over-extended void in communication won’t do.