Monday, October 12, 2009

It's ALI-I-I-I-I-VE!

Turns out that the prep-work for NaNoWriMo has primed the pump after all, bolstered by a very motivating and positive critique of the experimental first chapter I threw together to submit to last weekend's SCBWI workshop. I find myself constantly thinking of the storyline and characters, watching them get acquainted in my head as they discuss how to work out the plot kinks while I go about my other life. Yes, I'm actually starting to feel like a writer-coming-out-of-retirement...still a little nervous for November 1st, but hopeful. Excited even. (hugging self happily!) On your marks, get set...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Big Question

I've been flying under the radar for quite some time now, due to a variety of distractions/challenges/problems/stressors, including but not limited to: narrowly avoided financial ruin; a late-spring flood that filled our basement and main floor with smelly, muddy water; several weeks spent living in hotels and the basement of a generous friend; the search for a new home and the requisite packing and moving; and, as if all that weren't enough, the illness and unexpected sudden loss of my mother.

In the midst of all of that, life continued to move forward, even at times when it seemed unbelievable that it would, but not much writing took place. As the dust now settles on the last, difficult year, I'm gradually finding myself with the time and energy to look towards the future and decide where to go from here. And for me, part of that is to ask myself:'Should I...write something?'

In some ways I feel like an entirely different person from the one who in the last five years feverishly churned out four novels, saw two of them published, did school appearances and signings and publicity and public speaking, all fit in between 'regular life' activities of kids and work and general wifery. So I now ask myself the question I never thought I would consider: do I even want to write, to channel my energy in that direction anymore? It feels so good to just BE, without the self-induced pressure to always be producing something. "Simplify" is my new motto: will it only complicate life to climb back on the rollercoaster of words and pages and revisions and agents and publishers and editors (oh my!)?

Even more scarily than the 'should I?' creeps the other question through the back of my mind: "Can I?" Am I just feeling this way because I'm rusty and out of practice, needing to warm up my writing muscles until they are loose and humming, until my brain is leaning forward towards the next sentence, the next page? Or have I (God forbid), LOST MY WRITING MOJO?

And if I have lost it, I really want to know that?