Hidden Diversions

Romance Lives Forever welcomes
Selena Illyria to the blog for an article on writing and writer’s block. This article
could have come from my own heart – after reading it, I felt I knew my friend Selena
much better. If you’re a writer, you owe it to yourself to read this. If you’re
a reader, this might make you appreciate writers a little bit more.
I’ve been
meaning to write this blog for quite some time but something or other always came
up. Over the past few months I’ve been having computer issues so that didn’t help.
Those issues made both editing and writing difficult. I was in panic mode during
those times; it was a fight to get in every edit or finish a sentence. After I turned
in my edits, which was a relief, I still had a book to finish but soon it became
evident that my old laptop wasn’t up to the task. Recently, I was able to get a
new laptop that would allow me to continue with writing and other things, which
was a relief. That sentiment didn’t last long.
As I waded
back into the world of writing it became clear that I was in trouble. For weeks
I’d been going around in manic mode to get things done. And once my edits were done,
I started to seep into depression with every day that I didn’t get to write or I
didn’t get to write enough. That depression turned to anger and stress. I became
mired in frustration at my inability to get anything done. I thought that getting
a new computer would help with all those emotions. It didn’t.
Now I
was in a new form of hell. One where every word was like pulling teeth or mucking
through molasses. No word was right or enough. I found myself falling backward into
old bad habits that I’d been trying to break after my burnout a year before. I became
angry at myself, frustrated that it wasn’t as easy at it once was. That my mind,
fingers and brain didn’t seem to want to cooperate or work with each other like
they used to. Even though I knew I couldn’t go back, I still wanted to recapture
that hubristic little shit that I was when I first started. When you finish your
first book and get it published you’re on a high. You can do anything, write anything.
Book after book can pour out of you like water. Phrases like writer’s block or burnout
don’t even apply. They’re like distant lands you’ll never visit and have no intention
of stopping in, not even for a moment. Those two things would never happen to you,
because you’re kick-ass, you’re made of so much awesome sauce that it comes out
of your pores.
Yeah right.
Then they both come and you get your ass handed to you, even if it’s temporary or
lasts longer than a week or month. The first time burnout happened to me, I needed
a few weeks to recover. Then those periods lasted longer and longer until it seem
never-ending. Now, I find myself in a new kind of Hades, one where I can finally
write but the words aren’t coming. Everything I put down sucks and my internal editor
is playing kickball with every sentence, comma, and my confidence.
The one
thing you never truly understand until you become a writer is that it’s truly a
solitary career. No one else can write what you write. Your editors can clean up
your work, improve your voice, and your publishers can put out your books, but in
the end, they can’t write them for you. They don’t have your voice or vision or
phrasing. You can write with a partner but you still have to pull your own weight.
And none of those people can give you confidence when you fall down or start to
wonder how you could ever have gotten published in the first place. Things get doubled
or tripled if you have people in your life that question why you write or make you
feel like crap because you don’t have “a real job.”
After
much wallowing, hiding in reading “comfort books” and pretending that
I’d get to writing the next day, eventually I had to stop hiding. So, I opened my
story and got back to work. Unfortunately I’d ended with a sex scene. Nothing says
sexy like depression. *rolls eyes* And that’s when the self-doubt and self-hatred
started. Writing the sex scene was painful and I’m still not done with it. Nothing
about it screamed emotional or enticing. I had to stop before I sabotaged myself,
but I still had to write. So, I put away that story, for now, to try a palate cleanser,
to write something that wasn’t contracted and something that wasn’t paranormal (which
the other story was). It wasn’t perfect, if an editor saw it there would be lots
of knuckle wrapping and tsk, tsk, tsking, but in the end I’d written something,
anything and it was pretty good. I had accomplished something.
Recovering
from all the pain, heartache, self-doubt, frustration, writer’s block, and writer’s
fear will take time, and baby steps. But in the end I am a writer and damn it, this
is what I’m meant to do. Even if it is painful, it’s my job and I love it even if
it can be a pain in the ass at times. Also, I know that I’ll make it through this
patch because I’m surrounded by awesome people. One more thing: I’m stubborn.
For more information about
Selena’s latest release:
Blurb:
Their passion may be the
death of them…
Werewolf Chief of Police
Torger, is running into walls while tracking the Draven’s Crossing serial killer.
No matter what he tries to do, he can’t find the clues needed to stop the terror
that stalks the streets of his city. Things aren’t helped by his attraction to the
dragon shifter and Draven City News Reporter, Isadora Jones. With political pressure
and bodies mounting, can he get through all these distractions and find the truth
before it’s too late?
Reporter Isadora Jones wants
to help with the investigation into the serial killer but Torger refuses to let
her. She decides to do it on her own, but her world goes upside down when the killer
sets his sights on her. Under Torger’s protection, they start to put the pieces
together but will it be too late for them?
Things go from bad
to worse when another killer appears. Draven’s Crossing just got a whole lot more
dangerous.
Buy Links:
Purple Sword Publications:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
ARe