Falling into Creativity

I’ve been so quiet in this space and just about everywhere else. I’ve had what I call a summer of dormancy.

An extra warm summer here in the Northwest made me yearn for the outdoors; we had friends and family visit us; we made a trip back to the Midwest and I’ve had an uptick in both day job and freelance work. All of these are pretty good things, but those factors combined with a feeling of “burnout” made being on the computer the last thing I wanted to do.

Most of my social media profiles and this blog haven’t been updated in at least two months, but that mainly stems from the feeling of burnout I had. The internet can be so busy and overwhelming to me sometimes, and I think when my own life is extra busy my online life goes by the wayside.

I also think over the past several months I needed time to regroup and just lay fallow. Since the beginning of 2014 I’ve written more words, and written more consistently, than ever before. As spring of 2015 approached I noticed a slowing down of my creative process, but I kept trying to force it and push through because I was in the middle of what could literally be the biggest break of my career (more on that in a minute).

After pushing through and putting down over 30k words in a few weeks I just lost my ability to be productive. I worried about it, which made it harder to write, which turned into a vicious cycle.

Fall Leaves

Then one day I was staring out my window, trying to get the impetus to finish the damned story already, and it dawned on me, there’s a season for creativity. Just as a tree doesn’t bear fruit 365 days a year, artists don’t create 24/7, 365.

There’s an advance and retreat to creativity that has to be respected. I didn’t want to admit that to myself, I guess, and I was berating myself for not finishing my manuscript fast enough. For possibly blowing what could be an amazing opportunity, for screwing up my career before it even had a chance to take off.

I blamed my day job, thinking that my place of work was just a “creativity killer”, blamed myself, wondering if I had a self-defeating streak a mile long or if I was one of those people who deep down just feared success.

But no. It’s none of those things. The truth, as it often is, was much simpler. I was just smack-dab in a dormant period of my creative cycle. I’m happy that my ideas–and words–are flowing again and that my characters are talking to me once again.

I have about 12k words to go to finish the manuscript that could change my career–and my whole life. In March I entered a contest held by Harlequin for new authors for their Blaze line. I did not expect to be selected to move on to the second round. The editors saw something in my writing and in my story, and have asked to see the entire manuscript to consider it for a publishing contract!

So, to be in the middle of writing this manuscript and just feel like every ounce of my creativity was zapped was beyond frustrating. It made me crazy! But, the more I tried to force myself to write, the worse I felt.

I’m back working on the story again and am going to give it all I have before submitting to the Blaze editors. I’ll of course keep all my blog readers updated on my progress with Harlequin–and with my writing in general.

 

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