Today is the first day of school here in our district, and so it seemed like a good time to check in and let everybody know what's going on with me.
The answer is... not much. I have been in a major writing slump for the past year. I haven't written a damned thing since wrapping up Lost Ship of the Tucker Rebellion with Cari Z last summer. I could blame it on Covid and my disrupted routine. I could say it's because my one big emotional outlet (live sporting events) did not exist last year. I could blame the general contentiousness of the world right now, and the overall nastiness of social media. I could say it's burnout, or laziness, or general apathy. I think every one of those things has contributed to my lack of productivity. But regardless of all that, my kid is back in school as of today, which means I have way too much time on my hands. It's time for me to get serious and either start writing again, or go get a day job.
Trust me, I'd definitely rather write than go back to office life. But I have no idea WHAT I want to write. So, I'm looking at taking some baby steps to help get my brain back in the right gear.
These steps include (but are not limited to):
- Less TV - It has become way too easy to just turn on the tube and zone out. I often watch non-fiction type things and tell myself it's research, but who am I kidding? It's better if I just leave it OFF.
- Less Twitter - As of today, I am taking a big, fat break from Twitter. Even with it locked down to only my hockey list, the overall self-righteousness of it is nauseating. Once hockey gets back in swing, I might not be able to help myself, but for now, no Twitter.
- Re-vamping my work space at home (although I'm not sure exactly how)
- Focusing on what is RIGHT about my career rather than its shortcomings. Staying positive is always easier said than done, but it's something I'm working on.
- Writing something every day, even if that's only a blog post or a journal entry.
- More exercise. Less retail therapy. (I should also eat way less sugar, but man, it's everywhere.)
- Getting in touch with other writers again.
This last one is harder than it should be. I am legitimately considering how to build a writing community. But I'm looking for something very specific. Let me tell you a little story.
Many years ago, I was hosting a scrapbooking party. I had invited a bunch of my friends, and my mother invited some of her friends, many of whom were from her church. But then, a few days before the party, my mother called me and said maybe we should cancel and break the party into two different groups. Why? Because she worried my friends would be too offensive for her friends. In other words, she didn't trust my adult friends to be able to sit with other adults and make polite conversation without devolving into juvenile potty talk. (Or sex talk, I guess.) But the entire thing really annoyed me. After all, we were all grownups who functioned and worked in adult society on a daily basis. (Most of us worked at the same medical office.) It was ridiculous of her to assume that these women would be incapable of appropriate behavior.
Well, we went on with the party as planned, and guess what? It worked out just fine because we all knew how to behave. We all knew to avoid the contentious topics and stick to the matters at hand.
THIS is what I'm looking for — people who know how to be professional fucking ADULTS. People who might want to network and talk shop with other authors, but who know how to leave all their personal beliefs and biases at home. (As Humble the Poet says, "Beliefs are just opinions we don't particularly want to re-evaluate.") I'm looking for people who are more interested in connecting with people than preaching to them. So, if you're an author, and you have any interest in helping form an author group along these lines, or even just in talking a little shop, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. OR, if you know of a group that already exists that meets this criteria, please let me know!
This doesn't mean I don't want to hear from readers too!! Hearing from readers is always the highlight of my day. For those who don't know, the very best way to stay up-to-date on all things Marie is by joining my FB group. I know FB can be a dumpster fire, but I promise, my group is a positive, non-judgy, drama-free environment. Please consider joining us. OR you can always just leave a comment here, or email me at the address listed above.
I hope you're all doing well! 😁
[Also, you may remember that I completely moved websites a few months ago. I just realized there is no longer a way for people to comment here on the blog. I'll have to figure that out. Sorry for the inconvenience!]
[Okay. Added comments via Disqus. Which isn't 100% ideal, but it'll do.]