Room for the Struggle

It’s been a while since I posted here on my blog. I sort of let everything slide last year, and though my reasons seemed valid at the time (don’t they always?} I’m finding that getting back into the habit of being productive every day is a challenge.

IFor Sale Sign spent the first couple of months with my younger daughter and the grandkids in Missouri. About two weeks after I returned home to Florida, we received notice that our landlord didn’t want to renew the lease because he wanted to sell the house we’d been living in for almost a decade.  That was fun. What followed was a whirlwind that involved us trying to buy that house (didn’t work out) trying to buy another house (didn’t work out) trying to rent someplace in Florida (didn’t work out) and, eventually packing up all our stuff and putting it in a storage unit, convinced that we would be unpacking within just a few weeks.

With a spacious 36 hours until our lease ran out, when the last rental prospect crumbled right before our eyes, Older Daughter and I decided it was time to make some tough choices. We loaded everything we could fit into our cars and headed back to Missouri to camp out with Younger Daughter and Son-in-Law for a couple of weeks until we sorted out the rental business and signed on the dotted line for a place to live.

I won’t go into details, but nothing has worked out the way we planned it, from late-March of last year until late-April of this year. We’ve found a place to live, but it’s not ready for us to move into,/ I’d love to be in a place of our own, but oddly enough, everything has worked out for the best so far, so I’m just going to keep my head down and go with the flow.

Lake 01 Unsplash smallThe flow hasn’t included writing much, however, and that’s the fthing I’d like to change. Actually, it’s the part I need to change. But flexing those rusty old writing muscles isn’t easy to do after letting them go unused for so long. I’m not even sure what I want to write, so that makes it a bit tougher. If I had a story nagging at me, needing to be told, it would be easier to get my butt in the chair and my hands on the keyboard every morning.

It’s not that I have no ideas. Ideas are everywhere. I could write a sequel to Dead on Arrival. Readers have been asking for one for a while now. And I have a story sort of plotted out in my head, but getting it out of my head and onto the page is tough. I have an idea for a series of eight connected romance novels that’s been stirring around in the back of my mind for a couple of years now–maybe longer. But again, getting them onto the page isn’t exactly easy.

And it’s not as if I expect writing to be easy. I’ve been at this for close to 30 years now. I know how tough it is. Maybe that’s what has be hung up here. I know writing isn’t easy. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever done in my life. I leave my desk more exhausted after a few hours of writing than I did after 10 hours at my last stressful non-writing job. So maybe I’m just reluctant to jump back into the fire since I know how hot the fire can be.

Then again, standing outside the fire (sorry, Garth Brooks) doesn’t feel right, either. I’m a writer. It’s what I do. It’s who I am. And I know…I just know…that by playing it safe, I’m missing out on all the good stuff. And I don’t like missing out.

Pen and Paper 01 Unsplash smallMaybe I’ve been putting off jumping into the flames because I’m waiting for a home of our own again. A dedicated writing space. An office. You know … Then I can do it. Then it will be easier. (I know, I know. Ridiculous!) Consciously, I know better, but maybe my subconscious is playing that game with me. If so, it’s a flimsy excuse. One of the best things about my job is that I can do it anywhere. I don’t even need the internet or electricity. All I need is a writing instrument, like pen or pencil, and some paper.

No matter what excuses I can toss our here, the sad fact is that I’ve been letting my writing muscles weaken, and it’s time to start exercising them again. It’s time to relearn the discipline of sitting down at the keyboard every day and writing something.  It’s time to allow room for the struggle instead of telling myself that after more than 30 books, I should already know how to do all of this. Yeah. I do know how, but knowing something and actually doing it are two very different things.

I may occasionally blog about the struggle here. If you’re struggling too, I’d love to hear about your struggles. If you’re blogging about it, please share a link so I can follow you. It would be nice to know I’m not along.




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