Have you ever felt totally overwhelmed? This Sunday my pastor called it being flooded. I liked the metaphor—the sensation of being underwater and out of breath. My life has thrown me an intense mix of changes these past few months. I won’t bore you with the details…okay, changed my mind, I will bore you with them. My oldest is headed to college and I know this will change our family dynamics forever. My dearly beloved spouse is in a transition period (translate this as looking for another job), and I foresee some very rough patches ahead because if he doesn’t find a job he’s going to get…never mind. My day job is evolving into potentially more hours (meaning less writing time). And last but not least, someone very close to me is changing from caregiver to the one being cared for. If you’ve been in this place, you know what I mean. Enough said.
All of this has been hard on my writing, sapping my concentration and my energy. As it should. My writing would be nothing without my life, and my life would be nothing without my writing. I have to maintain both to be a sane person. Even before the stable elements of my existence began morphing around me, I was feeling a bit flooded. With three releases in three months, my writing life was a swirl of writing, editing, tweeting, blogging, networking…
I needed to slow the pace. Catch my breath. Take a sip of iced tea. Consume a pot of coffee. Read a good book or five. Watch five straight episodes back to back of Castle. Something. Maybe you’ve noticed my blogging activity has decreased. Maybe you haven’t, I don’t know. Does the average blogger really know how many people actively follow a blog? (A few reassuring comments at this point wouldn’t hurt my feelings!)
So I slowed down this summer and spent some time with my children. After all, the oldest is headed for college, right? Now with fall fast approaching, I’m once again in the mood to write something fresh, yet the fifteen rough drafts on my hard drive beg to be polished into something submittable. (Is submittable a word?) Has the opportunity to submit something Christmas-y for 2012 already passed me by? The unfinished idea beckons me from a half-finished manuscript. That four book series demands to be transformed into novellas instead of full-length novels.
Meanwhile, I feel the driving need to increase my Internet presence. Yikes. What’s a techno-savvy writer of the new millennia supposed to do? What happened to the days of banging out one letter at a time on an old manual sling the return lever typewriter and then submitting the whole bundle to an agent via snail mail? Are you familiar with the kind of typewriter I mean? The kind where you tucked the paper into the roller and wound it to just the right spot before typing. Then you yanked it out after the first line because the type meandered sideways due to the paper being in the roller crooked. My old model (from years ago when I was just a writing toddler) was orange with a black racing stripe. Vroom! Vroom! Sexy, right? The kind of machine with an ink ribbon. Anybody out there remember carbon paper? Well, thank God nobody uses that mess any more.
So…I’m ready to once again create fictional worlds filled with fictional characters caught in intolerably wonderful conflicts. Using a Mac, of course. I think I’m ready to flood my writing life again. Get ready. Get set. Go.