This is a slight whine.
I knew when I left New Orleans to take care of my mother that I would be leaving behind the close connections with the women and men who helped fuel my writing fire. Whether it was the monthly local RWA meeting or meeting in a coffee shop for writing sprints, I’d found amazing friends who supported each other in this crazy creative endeavor that is writing. We keep in touch when we visit, through social media, phone calls, and emails. Yet, it nearly wasn’t enough.
Writing Wright Place Wrong Bed became a type of torture. It reminded me daily of the writing retreats my friends and I would attend. One of the places we stayed became the inspiration for the plantation in the story. Each time I would open the document, I’d remember the laughs we had over wine on the porch or the deep discussion of plots held late into the night. We had such a bond. I am grateful for that.
Here, in the panhandle of Florida, I’ve not found the same support. I’m even nervous about letting others know that I write. It’s like my dirty little secret kept in the dark in the Sunshine state.
In August, I came the closest I’ve ever come to stopping. I wrote two of my buddies, quite intent on quitting. I wanted to give my writing a good, swift kick in the arse or set it aflame on a paper boat for it to sail off the Valhalla.
I’m still not sure what turned me around. I’m lonely. I’ve no one with which to discuss writing on a regular basis. But, here is the truly odd part of this journey that I’m on. The night I wrote my “Fuck this. I’m quitting.” email, a flood of ideas rushed into my head, keeping me awake that night. I dutifully typed the whacked-out plots and character ideas in files before making my brain shut off for the few hours of sleep left to me.
I’ve not opened those files. I’m not sure I’ll get to them, ever. They were essentially waking dreams, and we all know how weird dreams are.
I do have two stories to release in 2016. The first is part of the Candy Hearts Series for The Wild Rose Press. My title is Je t’aime, French for “I love you.” Love is its own language. The hero and heroine don’t speak each other’s language. But, as that rather catchy song says, some things “don’t need explaining.”
The second story is Catching the Cajun. It’s been in the works for ages. I took a while to find just the right tone for it. It’s a departure for me. I’m heading into paranormal territory with it. I plan to follow it up with another story in a similar vein. Well, I will when I finally get this story revolving around a man in a kilt completed.
That gets me back to being a lonely writer. For four weeks in November, I wasn’t lonely. I had support from other writers trying to get in a certain word count. I’ve returned to a normal routine, typing in obscurity in my corner of paradise.
Perhaps I’m becoming more comfortable with being lonely.
We miss you too. I’m so glad you’ve got your writing groove back.
I’m so sorry you went through that, but I think we’ve all gone through it at one point or another. Writing is essentially a solitary business, just you and the thoughts in your head. It helps to have others around who know what that is like and with whom you can connect when you come up for air or just need a hand.
So sorry, Sarabeth. I’ve envied your living on the Gulf, and while I’m here in NO, I haven’t been successful with my writing most of this past year. Between my hip surgeries and complications combined with being pres of my church board, I’ve not done very well, including not attending SOLA meetings, much less any plotting sessions, sprints, etc, etc. but please don’t give up. You are an excellent writer and this is a career you can pursue for many more years. No time limits. Hang in there. All the best!!