Finding "It" Again

So, here I am and I really want to make excuses for why I haven't posted anything in what feels like forever, but I'm not going to make excuses. I should probably also come up with one excuse for why I tend to start blog sentences with words like "so" or "well," but I won't do that either. Like an ever curling and crashing wave, life sometimes pulls you away from the beaches of writing and sometimes washes you ashore to be stranded in your own mind -- caught up in characters and plots and dialogue and descriptions -- and I find you have to go with the flow [cliche, I know] and not fight it.

I haven't been a good fiction writer or critiquer for my group for a few weeks, but I have been reading, and reading, and reading. I'm currently wrapped up in Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, Tinkers by Paul Harding, and O'Pioneers by Willa Cather all as the same time, snagging time for each book here and there, always reading, always absorbing tact and method and style.

However, while I am a happy reader with these three very different stories and ways to present them, I miss being neck deep in my fiction writing. I think there's no coincidence that my mood is directly proportional to how much fiction I write and while there are days I'm so frustrated with a story I could jump off a cliff, the feeling of having written is unbeatable. My bad non-writing moods may also have to do with how I start to mentally diss on myself that I haven't written. You know the tape you play in your head about what you should be doing? Yeah, that's the one. I won't tell you what mine sounds like, but it's very difinitely a well-played and broken record.

The good news is that as writers we're not obligated to wait until January 1st or even NaNoWriMo to write. We can write anytime we want so long as we have our own story to tell and the drive to sit the hell down and do it. Everyday is a new opportunity to create and destroy (depending on your plot) and if something is not working we have the right to quietly throw it all in the trash and never tell a soul. If you're like me you have more story ideas in your head than you could possibly write in the next year, so focusing your energy is key. My task right now is to find that writing spark again, the "it" that makes my project exciting again or pops out words like a slot machine when it spews coins. A writer needs that "it" factor to get the work done and without "it" we're all just readers.

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