I know this month’s theme is hot, hot, hot, but that’s not how I’ve been feeling. I’m not talking about the temperature. I’m talking about my writing.
Over Memorial Day weekend, I celebrated my tenth anniversary as a full-time writer. I’m incredibly grateful that I get to earn a living doing what I love. And even better, I get to do it at home in my pajamas. Making a living as a writer requires that I write “other people’s books.” I ghostwrite, act as a book doctor, and contribute to middle grade series for American Girl and other publishers.
Since finishing my Boys of Wartime series with Michael at the Invasion of France in 2011, I haven’t been able to make time for a novel of “mine.” I’m not complaining. I’ve learned something from each and every project I’ve worked one, and I’ve written books (fantasy, mystery, choose-your-own-ending) that I wouldn’t have written otherwise. I’ve had moments of inspiration and writerly joy, but it’s been a long time since I wrote something that bubbled up from inside—a story that insisted I put it down on paper.
For the past few weeks I’ve had a break from freelance work—time to work on something of mine—and I’m a total blank. I have ideas. A few beginnings. Some character meditations. But nothing’s pulling at me, saying write me. I was feeling apathetic and more than a little afraid that in trying on all those other voices, other people’s voices, that I’ve lost my own somehow.
What is it that I really want to write right now? I can’t answer the question. I think I’ve been ignoring the creative spirit (or muse, or whatever you want to call it) for so long that she’s grown quiet.
So I’m taking a break. After 54 books in 10 years, I’ve decided I deserve one. I’m working on filling the well. I’m reading, going to movies and museum exhibits, and I even (gasp) signed up for an art class. And I’m meditating every day, inviting the creative spirit in. My intention to be ready to start writing again on September 1st.
I’ve forgotten myself. I’ve let my connection to my muse drop. But she hasn’t forgotten me. I know she’ll come back. If I’m quiet long enough, and listen hard enough, she’ll start speaking to me again.