More and more, I'm reading and hearing an increased amount of frustration from authors. Maybe I notice this because, I, too, feel a kind of restlessness and weariness and even a bit of failure.
This feeling is familiar from my teaching years. It's MAY, for heaven's sake! School is winding down, coming to a close, and we can't wait to escape our present situation. May always brings the same feelings I've described, even in retirement. During the school year, didn't we always believe as soon as that last bell rang we'd be free? And happy? And no longer frustrated?
Remember January 2016? We were upbeat and optimistic, a new year had begun, and we had thoughts of promise and success. It's like getting a do-over.
Now, as summer approaches, we once again need to shake off an old cloak of fatigue and boredom.
We authors don't get a free vacation as teachers do. Teachers at least have the summer to experience different activities, such as golf, swimming, camping, cruising, or even sign up for a few hours to work on another degree. Yes, we can do those things, and we should, but for three months? Yes, when I was a teacher.But now as an author? Take a break from writing, but make it short. Or better yet, combine it with a relaxing get-away.
What shall we do about the frustration?
Are you stuck on a WIP? Look at it with a critical eye. Is it as good as you thought it might be? Or is it rather staid and mundane? Study it to determine if it's worth saving, or just a bunch of nonsense you could easily delete and get out of your hair.
Would you feel better if you began a new story? Well, by all means, do. That's the best way, in my opinion, to feel better. A new plot, a new direction, a new set of characters. Why, it's just like going on vacation.
Whatever you do, find some way to change your routine. You might even want to step away a couple of weeks and read and perhaps make notes for new ideas. Then when the vacation is over, return and get to work.
I'm in it with you all the way. This is how I feel sometimes, so I speak from experience. Just remember...You are a writer. Whether the world loves your work or not, you do...and in the end, that's all that matters.
Progress on a WIP: Series—Brides of Winchester County-Book I: Noel
Out of the darkness, a sound brought Noel awake. Heavy footsteps. Men in boots, walking up and down the hall.
“Hey, Bryce. Those dullards up yet?”
“’Morning, Carl. Three are and on their way to the dining hall.”
“I swear, if this is the best we can get, I’m about ready to throw in the towel.”
“Gotcha. But these young guns are the best I could round up in San Antonio last week. I’m real surprised they made it this far. Two more are coming, if they ever get their sorry butts out of bed.”
“All right. See you downstairs.”
“Woody! Taylor! Get out here. Now! Or hightail it back to San Antone.”
“Yes, sir, yes, sir, yes sir.”
“One yes sir will suffice.”
“Suffice…oh, forget it. Get on down to breakfast. We need to ride out in about half an hour. If you’re not with us, forget the job and ride on back where you came from.”
“Yes, sir, yes…”
“Shut up and go eat!”
Noel laughed out loud. Now she was wide awake. Bryce McKinley was rounding up his men and would ride out in thirty minutes. Where did that leave her and Della? Who was to come fetch them? Or would anyone? Were they left on their own?
Maybe she should awaken Della so both could dress and go down to breakfast. Truly, she was as hungry as she’d ever been in her entire life.
Curiosity got the better of her. Securing the top of her dressing robe at her neck, she opened the door a crack to look out. Oh, my, there was Bryce staring right at her. She opened it a bit more and watched as he tipped his hat and grinned. This one was wicked and would break some girl’s heart. Or maybe…
“Mornin’, ma’am. Sleep well?”
She couldn’t keep from laughing. “Well, yes, until about ten minutes ago.”
“I do apologize.”
He did not look one smidgen sorry.
“You go first, Miss Blankenship.”
“I was only going to say ‘have a good day,’ but I do have a quick question.”
“And that would be?”
“Do you have any idea what Della and I are to do today? I mean, we can dress and eat breakfast, but then what?”
Bryce snapped his fingers. “Oh, yeah, I was to tell you J.B. will send someone to fetch you around nine this morning. He’s expecting you and Della out at the ranch for the day so y’all can talk.”
“John Bartlett. Mr. Bartlett.”
“Oh. All right. I’ll let you go about your duties, now.”
“Yes, ma’am. See you out at the ranch.”
As she shut the door, Bryce yelled one more time. “You knotheads get out here. And I mean now. We’ve got work to do. I’m leaving in thirty minutes. If you’re not at the livery, we’ll go off and leave you and you can kiss this sweet job good-bye.”
She leaned back on the door and sighed.
* * * * *
To be continued.....I hope.
Celia Yeary…Romance, and a little bit of Texas