For about two years now, I haven’t done much original writing.
After a while it seemed a little pointless to bang on here about original writing when I wasn’t doing any. Plus, it’s tough to do a twice-weekly column on writing; there’s only so much to write about. I didn’t want to become one of those blogs that just recycles content or hammers at one specific message.
I wasn’t honestly that concerned about having stopped my original work for a while, even for a long stretch. I’d just been promoted at work, so I was growing my career, and I had two major surgeries in two years, which takes it out of you. My life was a bit of a mess, and it was better for me to focus on other things. And because I’d had a pay raise, I didn’t need to hustle the writing for money in quite the same way I had before. When I was earning thirty thousand dollars a year, writing was a genuine supplementary income. Now that I earn almost twice that, the desperation is gone, and desperation is sometimes one of the greatest drivers of creative instinct. (Sometimes not. It’s always better not to be desperate, I think, but it can be great motivation.)
So yeah, I tended my other gardens and let writing go its own way for a little while. And I wasn’t displeased; I knew it would come back.
And apparently it has, because a few days ago I had a little epiphany. I’m somewhat short of funds this month — not seriously, just not quite as well-cushioned as I like to be — and I was sitting on my couch, thinking that I’d really like to order a pizza but I didn’t really have the money to spare for that this month when I had perfectly good food in the fridge. And literally as I thought that, an email arrived in my inbox, telling me that Lulu.com had deposited my monthly royalties into my paypal account.
Some of y’all were busy book buyers last month, I guess, because it was $42, which is about twice the normal. And well more than enough for a hot pepperoni pizza.
And I thought, well, one, I do miss writing. But I also miss getting that royalties check, not even because royalties are so great but because it’s proof that other people like what I do enough to pay for it. That’s a really delightful feeling. While I don’t like capitalism I was raised within it, and being paid for my work lights up my brain whether I want it to or not.
So I thought, I’m going to write again. And I got started writing.
Mind you, I did decide to ease into it. I’m working on a piece that I had about a quarter finished, and it’s not that far from fanfic. It’s about the Monuments Men, the soldiers during the second world war who followed (sometimes preceded) the Allied troops in order to secure and protect great cultural works endangered by combat, as well as locating and securing art the Nazis looted. It’s a topic close to my heart and one I find easy to write about, so it feels like cheating even when it’s not.
And, honestly, it’s erotica. It’s for my publisher, which in some ways makes it easier, because I’m finally working on something I promised them two years ago, even if no deadlines were discussed. Plus they’ll do all the typesetting and graphic design which, while satisfying, is not always something I look forward to.
So, I’m back to writing, and I’m hoping to do a series here about getting back into writing, and how to work on things that have lain fallow for a while.
Hi, everyone. :)