by Laura Mahal
I'll admit the writing has been difficult these days. It's summer. Hot one, isn't it? Hard to find the time. Why isn't year round school an option for those of us with children? Why?
And there are days that the research really brings me down. People, and by people, I mean kids, die every day for having what my main character has: heart, soul, and confusion as to their gender identity.
Teen suicide is tragic, and I absolutely must take a stand.
|American Psychological Association|
There's a lot of pressure to write what is real, and to get it right, because there is no choice.
We writers have got to exercise due diligence. We must respect our characters and the larger world they represent. Though the research takes me into dark places, I'm trying to preserve hope and light to show others a way out.
Frequently people think compassion and love are merely sentimental. No! They are very demanding. If you are going to be compassionate, be prepared for action!
Sometimes, it's enough to bring on double vision. Words blur. Eyes blink. Tears come anyway, salty and insistent.
I'm sure many of us face the same questions daily.
Why did I take up this profession? Why did I write this book, anyway?
There is only one answer. It had to be written.
My novel is as done as it can be at this point. I have three requests from literary agencies and one from a publishing house. Why am I still hanging on to my manuscript? I'll go ahead and say it. Fear. That baby bird isn't ready to fly! Another week in the nest can't hurt.
Another dangerous word, procrastination. Why don't those query letters write themselves?
I bought time by hiring a content editor and she was fabulous. She offered suggestions to crank the story up a notch. That's what I'm working on now. Making this book great, so my words will resonate with readers. A strange part of me doesn't want the experience to end. It will become too real.
One of my fellow Northern Colorado Writers likes to say, "This sh*t IS real!"
Yeah, it is. We must write, even when it is hard. Only then will our characters live.
I've seen this theme developing in The Writing Bug blog posts. It's on our minds. So I offer a few of my own coping strategies:
|H2O is especially important in this heat.|
|No matter how noisy those 3 a.m. ideas might be.|
Naps are underrated. Invest in mini brain-reboots. Snooze for a while, then wake up ready to finish that elusive scene. Dialogue is much easier to get right when one's mind is at ease.
|Don't expect me to meow. It's too hot.|
Pet a cat, or a dog, until purring / full tummy offering is achieved. You can purr, but keep your tummy to yourself. That's close to your solar plexus chakra--the center of your self-confidence and willpower. You'll need that willpower to get up and finish your book (whenever you are done rolling around on your back and purring, of course).
|Ticklish! But don't stop!|
Keep going. At the very moment you are struggling, thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of fellow writers are also struggling . . . with writer's block, identity crises, marketing woes, or word bank deficits. More so, we are struggling with being human--health challenges, relationship worries, and existential as well as real-world concerns about the state of our nation.
Write on. We are all in this together.
Benefits of drinking water
Recharge by napping
Reasons you should pet a pet