A multitude of lessons fell into my lap when I decided to challenge myself to try something new. But nothing says I can’t go back to the literary fiction where I began my journey twenty years ago. It’s never too late to realize the biggest limitation to my writing career had been sitting at my very own desk—me.
I finished the second draft of my new novel Trails in the Sand before leaving on a trip to Denver two weeks ago. I like to have deadlines like that because once you leave a novel for a few days, it’s almost like starting over again. Since the incubation period is a necessary part of writing for me, I like to have something finished when I leave it. I timed it perfectly.
However, when I returned from my trip, I spent three days moping. I couldn’t bring myself to open the three-ringer binder where the draft rested.
I walked by it, looked at it, and continued on my way – usually to lie down or to clean a toilet, hoping for the divine intervention of my muse. By day three, I was tired of my pitiful self and decided to do what I hate most. I went shopping. That’s desperation. But it worked.
I came home that afternoon and removed the notebook from its spot on an unused desk in the living room. I opened it up, and I began to read. And suddenly, I wanted to do nothing more than sit with my creation and revise it. I wrote a new four page opening to chapter one. Since I’m writing an environmental story, I needed to open in nature not with the protagonist lying in bed savoring the first cup of coffee of the day.
It’s true that the worst thing is probably the anticipation of starting a task. Once I got over myself and began the work, I discovered once again that for me, telling a story is the second biggest passion of my life. Thankfully, my first passion – my husband Robert – accepts his close second and knows it enhances me when it’s going well.
Because when the writer in me isn’t writing, ain’t nobody gonna have a good day.
How do you get inspired to get down to the task needed to be done?