Friday, July 25, 2014

Dry Spells: Downtime and the Creative Life by Christine Locke

It's a gorgeous summer, one that I planned to spend writing.  And I am writing, but not like I did last year or even the year before that.  In an unusually rainy southern summer, I'm in the middle of a dry spell.

I'm not the first to point out that creative people need downtime.  In fact, I've just read a couple of books in my "Creative Life" project that assert this as part of the book's premise.  It's fine when I plan the downtime.  But what about the writing nights that get co-opted by sickness or home repair?  What about when those things happen when I was REALLY planning to work that night?

I didn't finish my Camp NaNo project (that would be for March).  That's a first.  I wrote about this in my book review post.  What happened?  Life.  For someone who committed in January 2012 to take this writing thing seriously, and for the most part I've been successful, this was disastrous.

But, then, you can't really write when your water heater is spraying a waterfall into your back yard.  Ditto when your "other" (rental because we couldn't sell it) house needs thousands of dollars  worth of repair and the only way to reign it in is to do some of that yourself.  Add household bouts of conjunctivitis and a raging summer cold into the mix, and, yeah.  My writing took some down time while my life went double time.

There have been some pretty serious jolts in the last few months, most of them I don't really want to think about now that they're over and I'm safely back in my office during my appointed hour to "sit butt in chair and place hands on keyboard."  I don't want to review how I got to this state, but I'm sitll here.  It's so bad, I'm not sure I even remember where I was going with that project, despite the plot charts I made.  So, what to do?

I'm going back to the advice a friend once gave me, in 2012, when I decided to try self-publishing and was wondering which project to throw out there.  "I don't know," my friend said.  "Whichever one is closest to being finished?"


Over the next few weeks as I ease back in, I'm picking up where I left off on a couple of revision projects. One thing I had ALMOST finished was the latest (I've stopped saying last) revision of the third and probably final novel in The Legacy Series. It's long overdue.

Then, I might just get back to that story chart.  Maybe.

Update: I have finished Out of Place and sent it to a professional editor.  More on that soon...

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