It’s funny the things that can block you from writing. Since I was about five years old, and learned to relay the creative/crazy thoughts in my head into the written word (in very bad penmanship which has not improved) it’s been mostly easy.
I’d come home everyday itching to transform what happened in my day from hum drum to exciting, to take disturbing life events and give them happy endings in stories, and mainly to purge myself of whatever angst I was compelled by at that particular point in time. Some periods in my life were more productive than others. From the time my daughter was born, for example, until she was three and I got a divorce, I couldn’t write. I should have, as it might have relieved my stress but I couldn’t. I was tired and overwhelmed and didn’t even give it much thought.
Once I got a divorce, I wrote like a maniac, non stop for years and years. A lot of other life stuff happened in between and I wrote through all of it. The more stress the better as far as my fiction was concerned. My body not so much. I was always losing or gaining weight, battling migraines and hives. I got an inhaler a couple of times because I had trouble breathing. And then there was the time I had to get a heart halter monitor because of all irregular heartbeats. In the end, there’s never anything wrong, just drama that fueled good fiction.
So the last six months I’ve had my share of drama but probably about 75-80% less than I’ve been used to most of my life. And what little there is, I shrug off. The problem is that I’m content. I met my boyfriend coincidentally when all the drama stopped, or more likely he was at the heart of my recognizing insane situations and walking away.
Or maybe it was just time to let go of bad habits and rabble-rousers. In any event, because I’m content and happy and not riddled with angst and worry, I find myself pretty blocked from a creative standpoint. I have nothing to say, nothing to exorcise.
I spend a good deal of time marketing my work so that takes keeps me busy. And another chunk goes to editing my old stuff for the Kindle and an upcoming collection being put out by a new press. And then there’s the NEHW and Epitaphs and the marking of that. But when I was really “writing,” I always found time. I had to or else I’d implode from all the stuff in my head.
But now…well, as much as I hate that I haven’t been writing much new fiction, it is really nice to feel like this: Unburdened, calm, not battling my responsibilities alone. Things come up, life isn’t perfect, but now I have someone to lean on and that makes all the difference.
I’m sure I’ll find a way to be happy and to write, but in the meantime, taking a break isn’t such a bad thing. If I can learn to live without stress certainly I can learn to write without it.