This year has been filled with ups and downs for me. And I’m sure it’s been the same for you. I’ve had years that were banner and some that put its foot on my neck and held me down. But, for the most part they are like North Louisiana roads, up and down, twist and turn, pot hole, and look out for that deer! I don’t mind my years being like that. Makes it interesting and makes me appreciate the smooth ribbons of life’s highway more.
Of course, the past two months have been full of pot holes and worn brakes for me. And none of it would have been that way if my husband and I hadn’t gotten the notion to move. It really threw me off. Okay, I know that I’ve complained about the move before. Everyone’s sick of “the move.” But it surprised me at how much it took out of me physically, mentally, emotionally, and, Lord, yes, financially. STRESS! and MORE STRESS! I couldn’t sleep, my stomach hurt, and writing? Um. Couldn’t even think about it.
I tried. I did. I packed up the ol’ laptop and trotted down to Starbucks. Surely, a caramel machiotto and some funky jazz could help me climb back into my story? Right? But no. No open table. Very crowded. Noisy with kids in their pajamas and PTA moms meeting for Bible study. Loud Bible study. Hey, I’m all for praising the Lord, but I needed to write, people. I glanced around at those smart medical students with their earbuds shoved tight in their ears as they hunkered over a laptop showing drawings of the human body (shiver) and wished I’d remembered to pack earphones. Sigh.
At home, there were boxes upon boxes. And bills. And phone calls. And to-do lists a mile long.
What was I going to do? I had a deadline looming like a horrendous dark shadow. I was terrified. I couldn’t write. At Starbucks. At home. Even in my mind. No scenes were forming. My characters were more vanilla than the lattes I couldn’t drink at Starbucks. I felt really, really…depressed.
For a day or two, I tried to force myself to write, but it wasn’t working. This was no writer’s block. Nah. Not that. But as I unpacked boxes and shoved things willy nilly into drawers, I realized that so much was upside down in my life that I couldn’t possibly shut out the jumble of my life to create a jumble in some fictional character’s on paper. I had to get myself together. Unpack. Put up the tree. Buy the presents. Go to bed early. And make my personal life smooth. Because if I could do that, I might find my writing mojo again.
So for two weeks, I didn’t write. I didn’t look at my manuscript. I didn’t make writing goals. I didn’t reread what I’d written. I took a break. I did visit blogs to stay connected. And I did form a plan for meeting my goals in January. And it worked.
I found my mojo, which defined for me, is my desire to write, create, and empower my characters on paper. This past week and a half, I’ve written two chapters – around five thousand words. Which is not spectacular, but it’s not bad either. Come January 3rd, I will be fast at work at 2500 words per day, five days out of the seven. My other group blog – The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood – is having a Winter Writing Festival similar to NaNoWriMo with lots of prizes, a chat room and terrific support. You can visit http://www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com to find out more about it if you, too, are interested in getting your butt in gear at the start of a new year.
SO there you have it. A testimony of a gal losing her writing mojo and finding it admist the chaos of life. Life happens to all of us, and we all have to find a way to recapture that elusive mojo. Mine happened to be by giving myself a break. By taking some time to get my personal life tidied up so that writing would be just a little bit fun again.
How about you? What do you do to get your writing mojo back when it packs up and takes off to regions unknown?