When Writing Isn’t A Priority

I had a wake-up call this morning while sitting at my desk. I’d been reading through my literary agency group e-mails (on my phone, at work, so shame on me!) and suddenly I felt very alone.

In reading the posts, I realized the posters are the active bunch of my agency, and that I am inactive. This means that I am not only not participating in the conversation, but that I am also not producing, contributing or writing anything new. My platform is flatter than a prepubescent girl’s chest (makes me recall junior high hell). My evenings are spent trying to catch up on my housework and reading rather than writing. The only writing I was cranking out was done at work (I’m a seasoned copywriter with a penchant for editing and graphics). Writing for pleasure had ceased to be a priority in my life.

Why? Because as my agent, Christine Witthohn says, “Life happens.”

She’s right – within the last few months, I moved out on my own and am dealing with extraordinary personal circumstances that leave me tired, dragging and emotionally numb. Coming up with new material at this time seemed anything but possible. My story alone was fodder for the writing coffers. Your own might include:

  • Illness
  • Death
  • Divorce
  • Depression
  • Deployment
  • Insert something here

However, the spark still burned, and I found myself inspired by the graveyard that runs behind my condo complex. I felt drawn to it, and started thinking about a story that revolves around the grave stones and greenery. But I didn’t want a typical YA paranormal ya-ya story like I swore never to write. Instead, I yearned to bring adulthood to my writing. What would the story be like? What the heck was I gonna do with a graveyard?

Since I seem to come up with ideas at work, my mind went a-flutter behind the desk and two weeks ago, the idea for an adult story popped into my head. I fleshed-out the first chapter and am eager to write the story, allowing the characters to take off where my outline stops (not that I am a planner – once a pantser, always a pantser). Yes, there are no teenagers in this story. Yes, there is some paranormal. And yes, I am not ashamed of it. Oh, and the biggest benefit of adult? Better sex! 🙂

It’s like rising from the dead, resurrecting a writing career after life happens. Is it possible? Will I be able to not only write this story, but bring my platform back to life with tweets, follows, tidbits and shenanigans? Yes, I think so. Won’t you join me?


18 thoughts on “When Writing Isn’t A Priority

  1. Welcome back to the land of the Word Pursued! Life does happen. If it didn’t, there wouldn’t be anything to write about! It takes a lot of courage to be this honest. I applaud you, Ms Duck! And I wish you were going to be at the WV Writers Conference again this year!

  2. Life definitely happens, and even when it doesn’t seem like it’s contributing anything to your writing it is. Because our brains love to plot and ponder and think in the background while we’re busy with the day-to-day craziness. So welcome back! And enjoy working on your new story. 🙂

  3. I have learned that as life happens, I don’t stop writing. I even use it as motivation to escape from the reality that is life (which is the subject of my latest post). Your story is very inspirational. Congrats on getting back to putting words together. I’ll add you to my blog!

  4. I’m sorry you went through tough times, and I’m so glad you have a shiny new idea.

    Life happens and sometimes my writing slumps. I rejoice times of inspiration and bursts of writing.

    1. Thank you, Medeia. You always see all of the facets into the writing game – more like the writing life. As someone once said, “This, too, shall pass.”

  5. I know that you are going through a difficult time, but the knowledge that you have begun to write again will help you during the tough spots. As you well know, writing is one’s own little haven (and reality) to escape to when the reality “out there” isn’t very appealing. For reasons of my own, I, too, have been moping, hiding, and finding myself too void of energy, etc, to write. You are my inspiration to shut up and get to it.


  6. I’ve been there too. It’s like a fog that smothers. Congrats on stumbling your way through the fog. And look you found a graveyard. 🙂 Put to death what you need to and embrace the beginning of your new life.

  7. Take hear in know that we all go through lulls of not writing. I have for sure. Thank goodness you’ve found your way out and are back at the keyboard. A new story can be so rejuvenating. Remember all that excitement you’re feeling – it will keep you going if you start to get stuck again.

  8. Hiya Julie,

    You ain’t alone as long as you got the BC PEEPS.

    I’ve been a little quiet lately too, and I have no good reason at all. If stuff is getting done, no matter what, you’re putting one foot in front of the other.


    1. Hi Peter!

      Thank you for your support and for stopping by. Indeed, the BC peeps are a legion of creative people who know where it’s at, know where it’s been, and know where it’s gonna be! 🙂

      – Julie

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