When was the last time you experienced writer’s block? What do you think brought it about — and how did you dig your way out of it?
Writers block hit me from around 2002 – 2012. What precipitated the beginning of the end for me was a boy, I think, and life in general, realizing that while I was living my life, enjoying my parties, living on the beach and playing beach volleyball everyday – being as American as I could ever be – I was also denying my heritage. When my brother moved to L.A. it was hard to maintain that American image – especially when family was getting closer and everywhere I turned was a reminder of who I was, who I was supposed to be, and of the expectations of family that I’d turned up my nose to for years.
While I did turn back to my “roots,” so to speak and do my best to fulfill certain obligations expected of me – both from my family and my husband’s, my writing tanked completely. And I mean completely. I’d never felt so hollowed out in my life – smiling on the outside but feeling completely empty, really empty, on the inside. I felt just like Bilbo when he told Gandalf in The Fellowship of the Ring, “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”
Finally, because in some other life, I must have been good, in 2012, I rediscovered the muse, who helped me back int the writing game, even if I had to start over by writing fan fiction. Lucas North, John Standring, Thorin Oakenshield – all characters played by Richard Armitage – got the stories flowing.
This year he’s been replaced by another muse, though he/she comes in different guises. A song, a poem, a photograph, a memory. And in a month or so, my first book will finally, finally come out, a novel whose rough draft was written in 90 days because this time, the muse would not let go. If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you’re probably sick of hearing about Finding Sam and all that – but at least I can now say that the smile is back.
Most of all, the writer is back. And she’s left the block party – this time, for good.