Nancy: Creativity Is Hard Work

Me, every writing day. Often, I am pushing the same damn boulder I’ve been pushing for weeks or months.

Last week, I had a conversation with a very creative person in a field other than writing. (Yes, it turns out there are creatives in the world who are not writers! I, too, was surprised.) We were discussing “living the dream.” Which is, apparently, what I, as a full-time writer, am doing. My creative friend, still working the day job, is not. And he had thoughts about that.

Actually, he has dreams of his own, which are wonderful things! He also has some misconceptions about what my day-to-day life of dream-living entails.

For those of you who have not met me IRL, I should explain that I have no poker face. Ergo, I could not hide my shock, dismay, and perhaps even amusement at his idea of my life. And while I have my own dreams of spending my writing days frolicking with unicorns and sliding down rainbows while the Best Story Ever Written magically appears on my computer screen, I’ve only had two, maybe three days tops, when unicorns have appeared. And those might or might not have involved whisky. That is to say, this dream gig is hard. Continue reading

Nancy: Week 4 of the Plan: Tools and Resources for Productivity

My very own 'written? kitten!' muse.

My very own ‘written? kitten!’ muse.

Jilly’s Sunday post about productivity (or the lack thereof) and her ambitious writing plan for the rest of the year dovetails nicely with this final post about setting up a writing plan. I’ve written about setting up a big picture plan, breaking it down into bite-sized pieces, and applying the math to meet daily, weekly, and yearly word counts. That’s all fine and good until you sit down each day to work your plan and meet your word count…and get stuck. Or distracted (Look, shiny things! Email! Squirrels!) Or just plain overwhelmed by the ginormous to-do list to whip that WIP into shape.

So today, I’m going to tell you the secret to never facing that dilemma again! I’m going to hand you the key to unlocking your bottomless productivity and unending creativity! I’m going to…stop lying to you now, Continue reading

Nancy: The Long Road Home…and a Challenge

My happy place.

My happy (if unproductive) place.

I’ve done it. I’ve survived an intense 5-month-long stint at the day job that took me away from writing, home, and pretty much everything in life outside of work. With all of that behind me, I’ve had time to catch up on some sleep, re-read some favorite books (salve on the psychic wounds), and start relearning the daily rhythm of life.

The next logical step should be a triumphant return to writing. Pent-up story should be rushing through my veins. My characters should be whispering in my ear, telling me their deepest, darkest secrets, enticing me them to get them onto paper. Right?

Turns out, none of that’s as easy as it sounds. My story brain is stuck in neutral and I just can’t get it engaged.

In addition to rest and reading, I’ve also watched story in form of favorite shows and some movies, old and new. I’veĀ  set up a jigsaw puzzle by the back window of the house so I can look out over the forest behind us in all its springtime glory. But while I usually hear characters’ voices while I fit together the puzzle pieces, lately I just hear silence. Or worse. Continue reading