In December of 2014, I had my baby. (Hey, this story sounds familiar...) I was neck-deep in Talldogs and my world came to a crashing halt. Whaaaat is this new little creature? How do I care for it? Why is it screaming inconsolably? (Hint: dairy allergy.) I am tired. Literally dog. dead. tired. because I'm up in the night breastfeeding. What is creativity. What is my story. What are words. What am I.
These times were times of emotional upheaval and situational change. Everyone has these times. And sometimes, for writers, we can't write. Everything shuts off. Everything goes quiet. If our creativity is there somewhere, it's running silent and deep - too deep to reach, too silent to detect. And for those of us for whom writing is our life-blood, it's scary. We suddenly have no compass. The thing we love, we can't access it any more. The thing which made us ourselves is no longer a viable identifying factor. It's gone, and it seems gone for good.
It's not. Spoiler alert: it's not. I crawled out of my stupor, through post-partum depression and the reeling shock of trying to figure out who had I become as a mother now, on top of being a wife and a writer. Slowly, I began to write again. Slowly, I ticked through the plot of Talldogs. I found its genius again and I finished the first draft.
I learned something in that emotionally harrowing experience which are the early months of being a new mother. I learned that sometimes you just have to live through the valleys, and the sooner you stop fretting, the better.
I learned that the writing comes back.
It really does.
And stressing about it doesn't bring it faster.
I learned that I can get back up.
I learned that I am a writer, always will be.
When you have nothing in your head, when you once had a monsoon of story ideas and you were once on fire, don't despair. One-trick ponies don't trot here. There are times to push, push, push ahead; there are times when you just need to lie low. Those times may be long, they may be short. They may be a month, they may even be years. But it's okay. It really is.
I'm between stories right now. I just wrapped up the first draft of Drakeshelm, and I'm researching for my next work. I'm not really doing any writing. And you know what? For the first time (in forever), I'm not worried. I know the light will strike when it's time. I know the story will accumulate in due time. Before I know it, I'll be back in the traces. All I have to do is wait.