Some time around last Christmas my muses began a rebellion which has lasted nearly a year with two exceptions. Maybe it was because I was abusing them, hell, who really knows with muses they can be quite fickle at times. It’s not as if I haven’t written anything in the past year, I’ve just been far less prolific than I’ve ever been in my life.
The year started out good to be honest. Some fantastic reviews on both my crime thriller novel Blood Noir and my last published work the novella Samhain’s Embrace. Then I had a certain “writer” insinuate that one of the review awards I received was anything but deserved. That infuriated me to no end. I work damn hard at my writing–always have–and put my heart and soul into every word. I know I’m not the best writer out there in the Ethernet, but I take any constructive critique to heart and work even harder to hone my craft. For me writing is not a hobby, not something I just do, it is a part of who I am.
February saw me creating a free-read to bolster my readership, the vampire novella Eternal. I received a request from a reviewer to review Eternal and I was ecstatic. I then created a prologue to the series I’ve been struggling with for two years AP Investigations entitled Gypsy Moon that was published in a free-read shorts collection from Dark Roast Press Barista’s Choice.
Right after Barista’s Choice came out my muses fled to Tijuana and thumbed their noses at me. On occasion they’d tire of my hair pulling and teeth gnashing and offer me a paragraph or two, but then immediately retire back to their fountain of tequila. If it weren’t for my friend Tea dragging me out of the house nearly every weekend or my long talks with my Aussie gal pal Winnie I might have just said fuck it and slit my wrists (metaphorically, of course) and been done with it.
Being a writer isn’t easy when you’re the worst critique you have. I want to write stories where the reader finds themselves pulled in and left gasping for air. I want the reader able feel not just for the hero, but the villain as well. I also want the reader able to connect with a hero who isn’t perfect, who possesses the same flaws and is just as fallible as we all are.
Yeah, I know that’s a great number of wants and perhaps I sound as if I’m a spoiled child.
Thus, I decided to take a hiatus. I needed space and time away from the writing, but more than anything else I needed to go out and live my life. After all how can one write about something they lock themselves away from? Over the summer and into the fall I’ve thrown myself into living more than I have in an extremely long time. Every weekend Tea and I go hiking and exploring (I’ve lost around 60-70 pounds) and then we go back to her place to just hang out and have dinner (her daughter is an incredible cook!). I’ve also become good friends with an elderly gentleman in the building I manage.
Then it happened two weeks ago. I wrote something. It was short, not quite 600 words, and it was something that went back to my roots of writing. Before I became a published writer I wrote Fan-Fiction and it was there I discovered my talent for touching people with my words. Nervous to the point of chewing my nails I posted it to my personal journal and waited. I didn’t have to wait long. The first comment I received consisted of three simple words, “Ah! Heart wrenching.”
Three words was all it took. I sat there staring at the screen in disbelief sure the comment would vanish in the blink of an eye. It didn’t. Then as embarrassed as I am to admit this, well, I broke down into tears. Three little words of kindness and the floodgates broke. All the frustration, anger, self-doubt, and a million other emotions poured out of my heart and soul in a flood of sticky goo resembling molten tar. Once purged of this insidious substance I could breath again and my muses were back again, sexy little bastards sitting on the top of my laptop screen, and smiling at me as their gossamer wings fluttered.
Their voices were clear as a bell although they didn’t speak aloud.
“What took you so long, dumb ass?”
Damn good question–don’t you think? 😀