“How an Author Deals with Not Writing Something New”
I started telling stories as an infant. My maternal grandmother recorded them for me on cassettes and would later write them down. This went on until junior high (I had horrible handwriting) when I got my first computer. After that, no one could stop my writing flow. I whipped out stories like it was nobody’s business.
Short stories. Novels. The words flowed off my fingertips into the keyboard, messy handwriting thrown to the wind.
After high school, I set myself a goal. Every night, I would write at least one chapter. It is thanks to that goal that I now have 27 completed manuscripts and 9 published works. Nothing could stop my writing streak. I would lock myself into my bedroom and not come out – and not talk to anyone either – until I had completed that day’s chapter.
Okay, so nothing could stop my writing…except a pregnancy. Not having the energy to write, losing that writing zone, was a blow. I’d been sick before, but I’d always pushed myself to do at least a paragraph (it usually turned into my chapter). Suddenly, I had no will to write.
It wasn’t a lack of motivation exactly. It seemed to be a lot of things. Stress, fear, exhaustion. I would sit down at the computer, and when I pushed myself to do one paragraph, that’s all I got. One paragraph. One really crappy paragraph.
My characters reminded me of the characters in another of my books. The setting was like the setting in yet another book. I didn’t know where to take the story. Such roadblocks had never happened before, and of course that just added onto my already huge array of negative emotions.
A writer has to write.
Wrong. A writer has to be involved in books, but not necessarily writing. I became depressed, feeling as if my writing career was crumbling, and I took that proverbial step back to reflect. It sounds cliché, but it worked. For me, at this point in time, writing wasn’t working, but I had to stay involved. Since I wasn’t turning out new work, I could take a look at the old.
I called up one of my old manuscripts and gave it a fresh edit. It wasn’t as tiring as writing something new and I could fully immerse myself in the fantasy world. Pleased with this new edit, I let the story go into the world, and wouldn’t you know it found a home with a publisher? The book is KISTISHI ISLAND, due to be released October 27, 2016 from Clean Reads.
I am now in the middle of editing another work. Before, I would finish one and dive right into the next. It feels great to explore these old worlds and beloved old friends without the guilt of not writing something new. Yes, I am totally guilt free now about not writing and that is one less negative emotion on my plate.
People have told me being pregnant means I can eat anything I want without feeling guilty. I have no urge to pig out yet (maybe that comes later?). I’m changing that idea around into, “Being pregnant means I can edit all I want and not write without feeling guilty.” I’ll get back into writing later. For now, I have old manuscripts to keep me company.
About the Author: Jordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, writes down her nightmares in order to live her dreams. With an eclectic job history behind her, she is now diving into the world of author. It happens to be her most favorite one yet. When she’s not creating art or searching for lost history in the woods, she’s updating her blog, Kissed by Literature. Her published works include ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW, TREASURE DARKLY, BORN OF TREASURE, COGLING, RUNNERS & RIDERS, VICTORIAN, GOAT CHILDREN, and KISTISHI ISLAND.
About the Book: Everyone in Arnn – a small farming town with more legends than residents – knows the story of Witchwood Hollow: if you venture into the whispering forest, the witch will trap your soul among the shadowed trees.
After losing her parents in a horrific terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, fifteen-year-old Honoria and her older brother escape New York City to Arnn. In the lure of that perpetual darkness, Honoria finds hope, when she should be afraid.
Perhaps the witch can reunite her with her lost parents. Awakening the witch, however, brings more than salvation from mourning, for Honoria discovers a past of missing children and broken promises.
To save the citizens of Arnn from becoming the witch’s next victims, she must find the truth behind the woman’s madness.
How deep into Witchwood Hollow does Honoria dare venture?
Thank you Jordan for the reminder that writing isn’t only writing something new!