Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sometimes the Writing Life Isn't Glamorous

I always chuckle when I meet someone new and tell them I am a writer. Everyone thinks it's glamorous and surely must be better than what they are doing. However, I assure you, while it is a nice dream to pursue and makes for interesting conversation, it's not always flashy and fun.

For example, today I spent about an hour tracking submissions sitting in electronic limbo for the past month. Before that, I checked my author email account, deleted a bunch of spam and weeded through my latest collection of messages from Writer's Digest. Then I sat in front of my computer screen for about half an hour facing the blank page of death while I racked my sleep-addled brain to come up with something creative to blog about. (At least I was comfortable in my uncomfortableness, since I'm still in my skull and cherry pajamas.)

It seems with the entrance of spring and 90 degree weather in Dallas I have lost my blogging mojo, which cracks me up, since I really have never experienced serious writer's block before. Maybe, it will reappear if I close my eyes and tap my ruby-slippered heels and start a new mantra: There's nothing better than blogging, or I could just pray I get whisked away by a spring tornado into an alternate universe where my blogging is caught up for the week, the laundry is done, my bathroom has magically cleaned itself, and the library doesn't charge me past due fees for books I've returned on time. I'm not holding my breath on that last wish.

After I finish up here, I am working on a new short story. It's a plot I've been pursuing for the past year. What is reality? Is it what we believe in our minds? What if a character had a nervous breakdown witnessed by another person? What would that look like? Originally, I created a housewife with a husband who traveled. Her relationship is an unhealthy one and on her husband's latest trip for work she mentally breaks down. She thinks an art mask is talking to her on the wall. The mask channels her husband's horrible personality. For some reason, my writing wasn't flowing organically. The plot felt forced.

I put it aside for about 6 months and recently came back to this idea, but it's morphed into a completely different story. I now have a taxidermied cat, a divorced mother, and an angry preteen boy. It's working well and I've been enjoying the experience, though the last five pages took a dark sinister turn I hadn't been expecting. I hope to write the final scene this afternoon before my husband comes home from work. Wish me luck!

As always, happy writing and happy reading to all!