The Writing Rebound

FAR RIDER has been sitting on the back burner for five months. I haven’t opened it up since January 1. I played with SONG OF ILWEN and DRAGON VALLEY a bit, but I’m only 27,000 words in one each of them.

One of the problems is I downloaded a trial offer to Microsoft Office 2007. I hate that program and couldn’t wait to get back to 2003. Unfortunately, when I uninstalled 2007, it took part of 2003 with it. I no longer have my favorite word processing program.

So, I’ve reinstalled Liquid Story Binder and Open Office. I’m not crazy about Open Office and I’m still trying to remember how to use LSB.

Yesterday I started wondering how much of this is just an excuse not to write and I came to the realization that is all it is.

Years ago, Don had a hot shot load going to Montana so he asked me if I wanted to take the boys and see my folks. I jumped on the opportunity. We left one motel and had gotten about a hundred miles down the road when Brandon got tired and wanted to take a nap. One problem. We left his quilt at the motel and Brandon simply couldn’t and wouldn’t sleep without it. There was no consoling the baby, so we turned around and went back for his quilt.

This was a little podunk town. The manager was gone. The maid/desk clerk hadn’t started cleaning and didn’t have the keys, but she knew how to hit the window just right so she could get in the window. Yes, that was encouraging to think that someone could have gotten into the room any time they wanted. Thinking back now, if I wrote that into a story there would be so many holes in it I’d have to change it, but I remember quite vividly the maid squirming through that window.

Anyway, that quilt was Brandon’s security blanket. He wouldn’t sleep without it. I’m sure he would have eventually adjusted if something had happened to it, but my mother made it for him and it was sentimental to me as well.

I realized last night Word 2003 was my security blanket. I can easily crank out 3,000 words a day if I stay after it, but I’d been struggling to just get a page a day done. Part of it was just not feeling good. Part of it was Will moving and the ensuing low mood afterward, but much was just me making excuses.

I read about writing. I talk about writing, but I don’t write.

How can you be a writer who doesn’t write?

Are the stories gone?

No, they’re still there. I like both of the other projects, but I haven’t hit the point yet where the fire leaps to life. I’m not in love with them yet.

For the last two days I’ve been listening to a lot of Celtic music. I went back to The Silencers version of Wild Mountain Thyme and realized how much I love FAR RIDER.

In FAR RIDER there’s a rakish bard who reminds me a lot of Jimmy O’Neil, the lead singer of The Silencers. He’s kind of a minor character, but he’s fun. And, oddly enough, I just realized all three of my currents stories have bards. In SONG OF ILWEN, the mc is a bard with magical powers. In DRAGON VALLEY, the eventual romantic interest is a bard.

I figured something else out also. I’m still in love with FAR RIDER. I haven’t moved on completely because FR is finished. It’s beautiful and polished and all the ugly warts are gone. I’m sure when I open it up this afternoon I’ll find lots of things I want to change, but it’s so much prettier than the current works that are unattractive little things. I still love them, but they are at the puppy ugly stage where they’re gangly and awkward and seem to be more trouble than they are worth at times.

And maybe that’s the real problem. When we finish one project, we need to have some closure or we are on the rebound and constantly comparing our new love to our last shiny love.


  1. I can relate to this. Only the shiny love that keeps me from writing now is not of a specific story, but rather how writing used to feel for me. That flow of words that was intoxicating, that was purely intuitive rather than craft conscious–that was very young and blissfully naive.

    Now writing is work, blast it. 😛 I feel like I’m sitting around waiting for inspiration to strike, even though I know inspiration comes when you are in the habit of writing.

    Even now I am rambling about writing to procrastinate my reentry into the document that’s currently minimized on my screen; so I should probably cut myself off now.

  2. I agree that you need to move on to a new project right away. Since I moved on to a new WIP, I haven’t had nearly as much time to obsess about what’s happening with my other book.

    I find that I’m either writing (a whole heck of a lot) or not writing anything. And when I’m writing, I don’t get a lot else done. So it’s kind of a toss up.

  3. JIll, oddly enough I don’t really even think about FR. I think I need to go through it again now and see if I can trim it a bit more, but I am not obsessing about querying it.

    I just haven’t hit the point in my new project where I am in love yet.

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