Salvation in yellow

Every day I don’t write I go a little crazy. I make excuses, that I’m dealing with more important things like my children’s health and well-being or major or minor household catastrophes, but something inside me screams. If I ignore it the screams build up in the pit of my stomach and somewhere between my shoulderblades. It gets physical.

Summers can be tough on the mommy writer. This one has been no exception. For the first month or so I did quite well. Despite the flood, heat waves and a bug bite that gave me the hives, between play dates and errands, I still managed to sit down and write for at least an hour every day. I have about 50 pages of rough draft on one story and about 2/3 of a detailed outline for another to show for it.

But for the past three weeks or so, writing has been derailed by vacation, house guests, back to school preparations and threatened cuts to the local Kopernik Observatory’s educational programs, necessitating much letter-writing to the controlling museum’s board members and local politicians.

Now I have lost that tenuous connection with my characters and my stories and I am rusty as – as – well, so rusty I can’t even think of a decent simile.

My friend Therese Walsh has been going through something similar and blogged about it at Writer Unboxed. She and I are suffering from the same malaise–shall we call it Summer Writing Syndrome (SWS)?

The problem with SWS is it’s hard to recover, even once salvation arrives, as it did this morning, in the form of a schoolbus. Now there are no more excuses. The pressure’s on to produce but the creative muscles are creaky.

At least I’ve been here, done that already. To come back from a break in the writing, I know I need to cut through the nonsense. No self-flagellation about how little I accomplished this summer. No whining about being rusty–some sludge has to come out of the pipe before the good stuff. No prima donna melodrama. Just back to work. Back to sanity.

I’ve brewed my pot of half-decaf. The candle is lit. Ravel is coming from the CD player.

Wish me luck!

LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE, RT Reviewers’ Choice, Best Regency Romance of 2005

About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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