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
Good luck, Elena, and I am in the same boat…I haven’t written an original word in at least three months, and I have to get working on a proposal.
I need full coffee, a candle, and some clean space so I’m not distracted by the clutter.
Ah well, I can only say that I’ve had the same experience, only I was the one on the yellow bus. Or public bus, whatever the year or grade. 🙂 I mean, summer was always sooooooo boring. Besides, I always liked school and learning, just hated the homework. LOL
Although a couple years ago that changed in that when fall term in college started up again after a little while off in between summer term, I was excited the first day, the second day I couldn’t wait for the end. I was pooped from going so much.
But then I ended up on a much longer vacation from college than I expected, due to those unforeseen circumstances. . . but hey, I’ve read many books in that time, so it wasn’t wasted! 🙂
This summer my kids have been to two zoos, the Corning Museum of Glass (which is awesome and highly recommended), art and science camps, a number of local parks and the Thousand Islands. They had better not complain of a boring summer!
Next summer I’m getting an Alphasmart. Maybe I can get some work done at those parks.
Megan, good luck back to you!
Reentry can be rough but worth it. I’ve had a pipe-cleaner sort of day, then hit a plot snag which I fortunately unsnarled late yesterday. Whew!