Summer Slump

Summer is my favorite season of the year; I love the warm nights glittering with stars above and fireflies below and the promise of adventure. However, I will admit, it is not the best time of the year for me as a writer. With the coming of June and the onset of summer I have been much busier than winter and spring. When the weather is sunny and beautiful outside, the outdoors beckons. Between impulsive mini vacations and working in my garden, writing has taken a backseat on days when a less seductive season might not have tempted me away from the computer.

However, I can’t fully blame the weather. I will admit, I have been slumping in my writing for other reasons as well. My confidence has been a bit down lately as I am writing really tight, intense action/world building type of scenes almost every chapter. The decisions made in these scenes will ultimately effect the rest of the novel/trilogy. Thus, I am over-analyzing them to death.

This is one deleterious effect of being a “pantser” style author–since you don’t have a definite plan down to the last detail, sometimes you get held up because you come up to something big you haven’t worked out yet. This is definitely what is happening to me. I know all of the characters’ ultimate “big” moves they are working towards right now. However, in the mean time, they need to make decently big, exciting moves to get there. I can’t jump to the conclusion (even though I have the ending of INDUCTANCE planned out and it will be the perfect exciting finish and set up to the final installment).

My challenge now is to think about the present–in the sense of my book–I have been caught up in doubts about the quality of the story right now, but I need to put those aside and trust in my skill as a storyteller. Words to the page is the main thing, and getting words to the page means being confident in yourself. I need to get over this summer slump, trust myself and write. I can feel myself getting more confident already… 🙂

Necessary Distractions?

Yesterday I took the day off. Out of my office, away from my computer, mini road trip kind of day off. It was nice to get out and enjoy the beautiful golden sunshine of a mellow spring day instead of cursing the piercing shaft of sunlight which always blazes through my office window directly into my retinas as I am trying to write; however, I found myself unable to fully relax the entire day. I felt a strange sense of guilt that I was not sitting at my computer, researching literary agents, practicing my query letters and–most importantly–writing another chapter in my second novel. The latter nagged on my mind the most–I’ve come to realize a certain irritability I take on when there is a chapter of my story sitting in my mind, waiting to be drawn out into words. This feeling can make going to the grocery store an even more tedious task, and can even cause regret at having to attend a social event that would, in most cases, be fun. For me, the feeling was most intense on my drive back home; the day was over, fun was had, but now I wanted more than anything to finish that chapter. It was like a compulsion in my brain while the rest of my body screamed with fatigue. It was very late when I got home and I sat down the days’ shopping spoils in my bedroom, fully intending to forge on into my office and hammer out the chapter, but then my french bulldog, Indy, jumped up on my bed and presented me with the saddest puppy dog eyed plead for sleep I had ever seen, and I relented. In the fresh light of this morning (yes, I am currently wearing a hat to shield my eyes from the eastward facing office window blaze at this moment), I am glad I waited to write my chapter; my brain is fresher after a night of sleep, and I am much more motivated to write now that I’ve had to wait a day. My challenge to myself is to enjoy those days off, savor those necessary distractions and come back to write with even more energy and determination.