Not a writer’s block

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Friends and followers, I’ve been absent from your feeds. Sometimes what life hands you requires your energy and you must divert it from the tasks you love.

One of the heartbreaks of the blogging community – what you can only find out the hard way – is that bloggers disappear. They die. They experience an event so crushing that they lose their voice. Or they just plain lose their enthusiasm and stop writing. One day you have a daily correspondent, a friendly voice on the other side of the world and the next day – poof, just like that – they’re gone. You can’t find them. You can’t reach them. And it leaves you feeling bereft.

And then that blogger was me.

Well, I have the same old voice, but it’s reshaped, perhaps, by the events of the year. Painful personal experiences. Exciting career opportunities. Children growing up and pulling a little farther away. A national recognition for my writing – not for my humor, but for the blog post it nearly broke my heart to write.

Fall feels like an ending for a lot of people, but for me it’s always been a beginning; a chance to retreat back into yourself after the glorious chaos of summer. A time to get serious. If you exercise,  you’ve probably gone through times where, for whatever reason, you can’t get to your run, or your swim, or your yoga class. Then you wake up one day and realize you are a little stiffer, a little angrier, you’re losing your edge – and you put the shoes back on and you run.

Well, I woke up feeling like a run today – and here it is.

 

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Writing humor – when you don’t feel funny

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I took this photo from the deck the other morning – doesn’t it look mournful, this January sky?

It captured my mood that morning. While there is a promise of something beautiful, January days come with a price – cold, dark, discomfort, and hassle. There is something ominous in the beauty.

I’ve always tried to blog (and write) with a humorous intent. It is my firm belief that even in the most stressful times, you can find something to laugh about. But these days, the only posts I seem to be able to write are about why I’m not writing, and why I can’t hit the writing goals I’ve set for myself. How do you write humor when you don’t feel funny?

It’s not exactly writer’s block. I could write, just not the way I want to do it. Is it like exercise where you work through the block, “no pain, no gain”? Or do you rest yourself, until the moment when laughter comes more easily? Or do you change it up, and write something completely different? Or all of the above?

Beats me.

I’d love to hear from other writers, writing humor or not, as to how they shake off the gloom and get back to work. How you use writing to work through the stresses and strains, rather than let them block you.

This post is a start, right? At least I’m writing something.

MeWriNoMo

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Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

Also known, on alternate days, as MeWriSoPo. Let’s just say National Novel Writing Month is not going well for me. It’s a little like training for a marathon I’m never going to run. All effort without satisfaction and bragging rights.

We are past the halfway point and I have only 8,180 of the targeted 50,000 words. I probably should have opted for NaBloPoMo since I have already convinced myself that, given the motivation, I can crank out a post a day for a limited time.

I seem to be at my best writing in short bursts of about 300 words. (If you have math skills equivalent to 5th grade or higher, you may now divide my actual count by the number of days that have passed in November and see how abysmally long this is going to take me. And that’s if I never take a day off. I have “taken off” approximately 14 of the last 17 days.)

Besides 41,820 words, here’s what I’m missing:

  • A plot. OK, that’s an overstatement. What I’m missing is a compelling plot. One someone might actually want to read.
  • A name for the character who is narrating the story. As dumb as this sounds, it is keeping me from writing my synopsis and completing my NaNoWriMo profile. Which has become a writer’s block. Suggestions, anyone?
  • An attention span longer than 20 minutes.

A little planning would’ve helped. Characters keep popping in and out of my story like drive-bys on the highway. I get a quick glimpse of them, and then they’re gone. And it would help if I could keep myself from being derailed as life happens, because life seems to be happening a lot around here lately.

Excuses, excuses.

(This post is exactly 300 words. See what I mean?)