I recently hit my first major bump in my creative writing road. After relatively easy and enjoyable experiences writing The Descendant and The Search (books 1 and 2 in The Descendant Vampire Series), I expected the same effortless process for the third book in the series. But this isn’t the case.
Let me first define what I mean by “easy” and “enjoyable” writing experiences.
When I wrote The Descendant, I was embarking on a new adventure – I was writing my first book! I was fueled by passion to pen the vampire story that I had always wanted to read. I hadn’t a clue what I was doing when I wrote the first draft of that book, and looking back, I think that was part of the fun.
The Search came to me quite easily. After finishing The Descendant, I knew exactly what was going to happen in the sequel. When I sat down to type, it was magical – the words flowed effortlessly from my head to the keyboard and I absolutely loved what I wrote as a first draft. So the third book was going to be just as easy, if not easier, to write, right?
After completing The Search, I knew for the most part where I was going to take the story in the third book. I completed the outline and filled in most of the plot elements through that process. There are still some holes in the story, but those will get filled in as I write and rewrite the third book.
But the problem I’m experiencing is actually writing the book. The magic – the ‘easy’ part where I sit down and the words effortlessly float through my mind to my fingertips and to the keyboard – isn’t there. Sure words are making it onto the paper, but I’m not happy with what I’m writing, even for a first draft.
After several attempts to force the writing and repeatedly not being happy with what I was writing, I had to take a step back and assess what was going on with me – all of me, not just in my writing life. And that’s when I discovered the speed bump in my creative highway.
The difference between writing my first two books and this third book is what’s going on in my life outside of my writing world. I often say ‘life happens,’ and it just so happens that life is happening in droves for me at the moment. There are external influences impacting my personal life, things that I have no control over, yet I’m forced to ride the roller coaster that life has put me on. On top of that, my day job has ramped up considerably adding even more stress. I finally realized that the stress of these external forces has zapped my creative energy. When I sit down to write, I simply don’t have the energy to conjure the story in my mind’s eye.
So what’s a writer to do?
Well, I really don’t know. This is the first time this has happened to me during my writing career. What I do know is that I can’t control all of the external factors in my life. I need to let that train roll and understand that it’s eventually going to stop at the station. And until I reach that rest stop, all I can do is continue cultivating the story that’s swirling in my head, throw something down on paper, and when the time comes, revisit, revise and perfect what it is I want to say. After all, I’ve always said my favorite part about the writing process is rewriting. It seems I’m going to enjoy this rewriting process more than I did with my first two books.
Life happens, and when it decides to settle down, my keyboard will be anxiously awaiting my return. Until then, I’ll manage to write what I can in anticipation of forming into a fantastic third book in this series.
What about you? Have you come across an obstacle in your creative road? What have you done to help you overcome the obstacles? Leave a comment below and any tips you have for reclaiming your creative mojo.