After a period of distraction where I changed my living arrangements by moving in with an old friend (male), revised and re-published older works, and, oh, turned eighty years old, I find that, as a writer, I must start all over again to do an original start-from-scratch story.
I didn’t realize that it would be so difficult. I paced the floor, slept fitfully, got two colds in a row, and began to read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Nothing helped until I reverted to an old technique of mine: brainstorming.
My way of brainstorming is to take a blank sheet of paper and write down things that I have been neglecting, things that I know I must do, and also those things that I want to do. I list some potential story ideas, add current and potential marketing/promotion ideas, and whisper to myself: “career-career-career.”
I scribbled words every which way on the paper so that they didn’t interfere with each other in terms of sequence, because this was not the place to worry about that. Down in the lower left corner I drew a box around “One at a time” to remind myself not to get confused and overwhelmed by doing too many things at once.
Since I had been lying awake at night concerned about my poor financial records, I picked that one first, and took a look at Quicken. About a year ago I had set up my accounts in Quicken and tried to make it as automatic as possible, linking it to various venders and accounts hoping that it would work by itself. Now, a year later, I find that it’s a mess. Since my live-in companion at eighty-four years of age has a long professional history in technology and investing and numbers etc., I asked him sweetly, if he would mind taking a look at it. He did, and came back with, “This is the basis for a LONG discussion.” I crossed Financial Reports off the brainstorm sheet and moved on for now.
Next, I tackled “Blog.” It’s been seven months since I last wrote on this blog. Seven months!!! It was an unconscionable neglect of my writing career-career-career! So I am writing this post and will publish it before I get up from this chair. Then I can have the joy of crossing it off the brainstorm list.
Will I write another blog entry soon? Yes. How do I know? Because my mantra “career-career-career” is driving me crazy. It has planted itself somewhere in my brain and isn’t turning itself off. It’s giving me nervous energy. I must write the next story, and I even know what it will be.
I worry a bit that my stories are too dark. My son, the psychologist, tells me that it’s because I’m Norwegian American. “We’re all that way,” he says. “It’s what makes us unique.”
So, off to the pencil and paper now. I shall be back soon.
In the meantime, I’d like to hear how you got back into writing after a period of neglecting it. Are you still enthusiastic? Or was it just too demanding? Let me know. Let’s help each other. Leave a comment here or on my Facebook or Twitter page. Thanks so much.