It’s been nearly a month since I did this column. Not that I didn’t write, I did but in my honest opinion, it was not worth talking about. If you look at yesterday’s column, and most of the ones I did in July, you’ll notice that I’ve been complaining about the heat and how devastating it is to my writing because I just can’t think.
Most of you probably think that shouldn’t be the case but for me it is. When the heat and humidity are high, I just want to retreat to my bed, read a good book or two and be blasted by the air conditioning. I understand that I am from the land of endless heat in the Southwest USA but there is nothing like heat and humidity combined. Anything over 10% humidity and I’m crying foul before I even think as I’m a dripping, limp noodle without a functioning brain cell in my head.
While this may be difficult to understand, I have always been affected by weather. Living in Nevada, I could tell by the pressure differences if we were going to have rain on any given day. When I first got here, my joints ached from the higher humidity and I felt like a general slug. After I’d lost a few pounds by walking everywhere, it became better but overall I didn’t feel as if my forward progression was as good as it needed to be. I had to figure out something to fill those non-writing gaps.
Fast forward a few years and most days, I’m not affected by what is happening outside my window unless the humidity is extremely high. If it is, and it’s combined with a high temperature, I’m in trouble. That is what has happened in July and August this year in Austria. Now, I’m not explaining this to get sympathy or anything but to share this: no matter what is going on outside your window, you need to try and write every day OR do something that is going to further your career in another way. First choice is always writing however.
Sure, like I said in the first paragraph. I wrote but IMHO it wasn’t worth talking about. It took me a few days to realize, this was going to be one of those times where my mind wasn’t into it. When I can’t think, I try to do something different for my career. Things like catching up on the online classes I occasionally do. Reading a craft book though I’ve read a hundred before the one in my hands. I can even outline or think of ideas that might pan out into a storyline later. Many times, I just flat out read genre fiction because my personal reading-for-enjoyment time is almost always limited to an hour or so when I get into bed.
The point is that writing just doesn’t stop. It might shift and morph into something else during a time of body or mind stress but the creative process is always going. There may be times where it isn’t going in the direction you think it should. When those times arise, you have to decide what you’re going to do instead of wasting the time when you should be writing.
Once you have that in place, there’s one more thing you need to do. Let it go. Let go of the fact that you couldn’t write this day or that day. Know you did something that will help over all. The number one fact a writer has to remember is that learning is a life long journey just like writing. When you can’t write for some reason, then learning something to enhance your writing is a good way to keep it all fresh. Learning is always there to provide inspiration, help with a writing-related issue or just to recharge your battery.
And realize, whenever the incident that’s holding you back, be it weather or something else, is over writing will be right where you left it.
See you all next week. Until then…