Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Starting from Scratch

Anyone who writes knows that the most common piece of writing advice echoes the sentiment of a popular shoe company.  To paraphrase -- You have to sit down and do it.  It doesn't matter what else is going on in your life, if you want to be a writer, you have to devote a whole lot of time, and a little (or lot) of blood, sweat and tears.  It's what you might call Writing 101.

Well, I've been failing Writing 101.

About a year and a half ago, I relocated from central Ohio (Go Bucks!) to sunny, northern California. It was a huge move!  As I packed boxes and then unpacked boxes, I had visions of new sights and sounds stimulating my creative juices.  I thought views of the Pacific, rugged mountains, dry heat and new cultures would cause my imagination to kick into overdrive.  Once the house was unpacked, the children enrolled in school, a new job procured and new routines developed, I did thoroughly enjoy exploring the new place I was learning to call home.  I found myself constantly amazed by the beauty before me -- the clouds hanging on the mountain tops, the rugged cliffs which jutted right into the sea, the sunsets over the bays.  I met and continue to meet wonderful people and absolutely love my job as a Paraeducator in a special needs classroom. I've been happy.  I've been intrigued.  But most of all, I've been tired!

It's only after a year and a half that I'm starting to feel like writing again.  Until very recently, the thought of sitting with my computer on my lap after a full day of living and working seemed like a pipe dream.  I've missed writing. I miss my characters.  I miss the stories.  But stepping so far out of my comfort zone and having to completely learn a new place has just sapped my creative energy.  I think about writing all the time.  I come up with new angles and ideas for the stories I was writing before I took a break.  And it isn't as if I've written nothing.  On the rare occasion I've attempted to write, however, I generally end up asleep with my laptop perched precariously on the edge of my lap.

So here I am, finally, ready to give it a go again.  The biggest problem I've noticed as I revisit my old work is that it truly is like starting over.  I feel like I'm at step one as I agonize over word choice and question whether the story I'm trying to tell even has any merit.  Rejections sting a little more as I wonder if I would have done something different with the story a few years ago when writing was apart of my routine.  

I'm enrolling on Writing 101 again.  This time, I hope with a whole lot of work and a little more of that blood, sweat and tears, I'll get my groove back!

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