It’s been six years this summer since I had to give up my teaching job. That first summer I was so excited about this new writing gig I’d decided to embark upon. I got up early every morning, the romance story of two teachers living in northern Maine, churning in my head. (Hey, they say write what you know.)
I loved that summer. There was no internet for me. No emails begging for my attention. I hadn’t started my blog. Facebook and Twitter were just in their infant stages and definitely not on my radar. It was me, a computer and two characters looking to find love.
Of course that book is buried deep under the couch because, as much as I loved the story and the characters, I just don’t think I can save that manuscript from itself. I was too ignorant of writing rules (I’m a scientist remember) and story structure to worry about doing it “right”. I just let my imagination run wild and typed. Writing it was fun. Working my way from “once upon a time” to “riding off into the sunset” was a huge learning journey for me. Enough so that I could go on and write another romantic suspense thriller that will hopefully find it’s way to publication within the year. I was thrilled with my progress and the stories I discovered in my imagination just waiting to get written.
But the last couple of years, I worry more about cliches and character growth and act structure. The joy of writing the story is gone and I don’t know where it’s disappeared.
I think part of my issue is watching authors who started writing when I did, running away with accolades and big contracts. Now, please don’t misunderstand, I wish all my friends well and hope for only the best for all of them. It’s just that … it’s hard for me to not want what they have or to compare myself to their successes. I know. I know. Every writer is different. Every journey unique. I have been blessed with some wonderful contracts and I’m grateful. Really I am. But I want to find that story that sets my muse on fire. The one I just have to write because it’s keeping me awake at night and filling my mind with images and … enthusiasm. I want the passion back.
I know I’m not the only writer who’s gone through this. Others have survived and come out better on the other side of their personal crisis. I will too. I’m just a tad bit impatient at the moment and want it all to work out now. Anyway, I’m throwing this out there. Have you ever run into a personal wall that you needed to get over? Did something you love lose it’s luster? I’d love to know how you got through it. How did you rediscover the joy. Walking away from writing isn’t an option at this point in time. This is my job. I’d just like to figure out how to get out of bed again with a smile on my face happy to face the keyboard.