Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Hate My House I Love My House

Soo...if any of you have been following me on Facebook or know me as a friend, you know I have been struggling with my writing. The truth is I haven't written anything of consequence in a dog's age. (Don't worry, I have enough backlog in books to keep you in fresh material for a long time to come.) Now, it might be professional suicide to share this with you, but I have committed suicide before and am still here to tell the tale, and I have always shared everything with you all and I am not about to start pulling my punches.

Truth is, all writers go through writer's block...or periods of feeling drained of their creativity. What I speak of is not new phenomenon. Some of the most famous authors you know were plagued by the writer's block beast. But for me it's not so much a block as it is...my inner child wants to play not work not ever so nah!

I am 170lbs lighter than I was. I can wear gorgeous clothes and shoes. I can get on planes and fit in the seats. I can travel everywhere. I can do just about anything! Why oh why would I want to sit here, in front of the computer, in this seat that I was trapped in under fat and infirmity for DECADES in this dark spot in my house?? I existed in that spot, unmoving, unliving, uneverything. Now...I loathe it. I loathe sitting in one spot. I loathe being in my house. I loathe this computer screen I have stared at for every single day for so damn long.

I want to PLAY! I want to shop! I want to go out and go dancing and run on a beach and do things people do to have fun. I want to conquer my fears and do some crazy ass shit while I'm still young enough to do so. Because, you see, it snuk up on me so fast last time. One day I was young and healthy (albeit overweight. Have been since I was 15) and then the next...(so it seemed) I couldn't even climb a set of three stairs. I couldn't walk through a store. I had to go to Wal Mart or Target only because they were the only ones who had electric carts. I had to buy a one story house (I have a 'bonus' room though which is up over the garage. I lived in this house for almost 2 years before I was able to even see it!)

The point is, I feel like I've wasted so much time and, despite the weight loss, I am still not all that healthy. (People marvel at how much meds I am on. Granted it's a few less now than before...) What if I spend all this great time sitting on my ass and suddenly...bam! It's all gone again?

But like I said in my title...I hate my house....but I love my house. I want to keep it. I want to keep my car. I want all those little things that come with a paycheck. So...this girl's got to work. It's not as though I want to be irresponsible. It's not that I want to quit and never write again. I love to write. I love to make up stories. I like to create unique worlds that blow your socks off. :) (My agent and my editors and publishers are going to be very glad to hear this part) So here's the thing. How do I write and stay focused when my inner child is whining that it wants to go out and play?

On top of all of this, I'm stuck in my own head. Or maybe even my own ego. I sit here thinking whatever I do next has to be UTTERLY SPECTACULAR!! It has to outshine everything I have ever done before AND it has to be strides ahead of the tremendous talent that is out there in my genre. (And those who aren't tremendously talented but somehow popular just the same). I have to write a NYT Bestseller that outdoes myself...and can do battle with everyone else. And then once I do that..OMG I have to do it again! And again!

And crap, I gotta pay taxes, too.

Not too much pressure, eh? This is the essence of writer's block. A writer who gets stuck in the pressures and minutiae in their own minds. All of the above mentioned crap AND the daily list of things in their personal and business lives that they swim in.

But I think I found a solution. For me anyway. I'm taking it Old School. I'm leaving the laptop at home, leaving home at home, and with nothing but a wire bound journal and a favorite pen, (well, ok so i do take my cell) I am going out and finding quiet nooks and crannies where I can sit, enjoying the OUT THERE out there, and yet focusing completely on writing. This is how I did it when I was a kid. Back when teachers thought I was the most diligent notetaker in class? That was me writing reams and reams of stories, perfecting what would one day become a craft. The spiral notebook was my original laptop. I had forgotten how much I love the feel of pen drawing over paper. There's sometimes a few moments that it takes to write a word vs. typing a word that allows your brain to jump to the next thought.

Now, the downside..no delete key, no backup files (save me if I drop today's gel inks--my favorites--in a puddle), and I have to retype the whole thing over again eventually anyway. So this is strictly for creative purposes only. Perhaps just to get me started. I am considering an IPad...strictly for the purposes of being able to carry it in my purse everywhere at all times without having to lug a laptop hither and yon. The laptop isn't big, just...inconvenient. But I don't know if an IPad is easy to type on. Still, it can't be any slower than using a pen, right?

Maybe I'll stick with the low tech solution. For now it feels good. I can't tell you how many words I've written...for some reason the damn journal refuses to tell me!

Hugs and Kitties

PS: So far Barnes and Noble and the Library have been tried out. B and N is nice, but there's a lot of pressure in those bookshelves. The library has no pressure because they don't have a single damn book in my genre from what I can see, but it was really freaking noisy after 2pm. Any other suggestions? I need a chair that's comfy that I can cross my legs in and prop the journal on my knee. Oh, hey! My therapist's waiting room was nice. Wonder if they'll let me haunt it. :P


Alexx said...

How about a coffee shop. Now I do not mean Starbucks or one of the other big chains I mean some little out of the way place that has overstuffed chairs and couches. we have a funky little bookstore near me called Puddinheads that has that kind of vibe with couches and comfy seating areas by the coffee. Perhaps you have one near you. I do understand the block my hubby is a writer. good luck and I love your books.

Joi Dixon said...

BREATHE!!!! First off focus on your health. Then relax, find something FUN to do. Put writing aside, just for a WEE bit!! Sometimes the inner child NEEDS to come out & play or we can drive ourselves CRAZY!! And that does NO ONE any good. You need to re-energize yourself. Find one of those chairs like I have, it massages!! (You can come visit me anytime!! LOL) IPAD sounds like a good idea, I can't afford one, but they look cool! And that way you can just delete what you need to or re write easier I'd think. But we ALL need to BREATHE and RELAX or it does affect our health ion not so good ways. so put that first then look around seed what's out there, you never know what you will find around the next corner if you look! And who knows what ideas you will get then!! GOOD LUCK!!!!

Unknown said...

Jacki, If I were you I would go play for a little while. Have fun, do the things you thought you would never do and then.... work. Everyone needs time to decompress and find their balance. You do too. You are an amazing talented writer who will always do well because you are a natural born story teller and there is too much inside of you to hold in. I have faith that you will find your groove and then you will write. Well. Often. Amazing stories we will love for years to come. Love you girl. Bobbette

Anonymous said...

For me it would be a park or a garden,also putting my thoughts on tape to play back later that way you move while you create.Good luck with all of this .I love your books your stories and your writing style I would hate see that go away.

Stacie Stovall said...

I am sure everything will work out for you. You've got more talent in your little finger than most people even dream to have. If not for the comfortable chair, I would say try a park or the beach. Some nice hotels have lounges, and you never know where you'll be when you witness something that inspires a scene in an upcoming book. Then again, you may need a vacation, just make sure you've got a notebook handy. ;0) I know that there are a lot of us out there that will be supporting you through the ups and downs. Can't wait for you to grace us with a new book. Good Luck!!

Deanne M said...

Jacki, first of all I knew you had lost alot of weight but not how. Would you mind giving me a few pointers that worked for you? Now as far as the writing, I like Doni's idea an out of the way coffee shop, that would be my choice. Also make sure you still take some time to play there's nothing wrong with that and I would think it will help you be more productive. Good luck with whatever you decide to do I'm sure it will work out fine.

Jusy said...

Check out big hotel lobbies. You should be able to find a quiet spot. As for a device other than an iPad, you may want to check out the something bigger than an iPad and smaller than a laptop -- a netbook/notebook. Some have a battery life of 6 hours. Oh I typed this comment using my iPad. I don't know if I could go back to pen and paper. The handwriting has become horrible because it's not fast enough for me.

Jill Bryan said...

I think going back "old school" will give you lots of ideas. when you have a backspace key or delete you might miss some of those great ideas that you jotted down. RElax and it will come to you. You are a great writer!

Digigirl said...

As someone else said - get a small recorder you can put in your pocket. Anytime you are in a car on the way to an adventure, on a train, on a ski lift - you can be working on a scene. You can back up and re-record over if you decide you don't like something. Send it out to be transcribed, it's not that expensive. Then, all you have to do is edit. But definitely DO get out and play! You deserve it!

kat123 said...

Maybe you could blend your playful inner self with your books.Take all those playful things that you want to do and twist then into your books while doing them. Maybe it will bring some new inspiration to you.Visit the places that move you the most.All things get stale in life, we just need to add some new flavor,some extra pepper!!And always wanting the next best thing is GREAT!! It has made you who you are and as brought you to the place you are to today.As I always say "if nothing changes,nothing changes"!
Smiles Kat

rhomitz said...

I, myself, love parks. I think they can be quite relaxing and inspirational. And I think camping is relaxing and serene. Good luck with your writing. I know you'll figure out what works for you, and in no time you'l be dishing out those exceptionally sexy books of your's. You go girl!!! Good luck!

RENEE said...

Go find yourself one of those chairs that fold up and sling over your shoulder...some are very comfy.

Then go out, find somewhere pretty...overlooking the ocean, on a mountain overlooking a valley. Or even better, drive somewhere there are trails, walk a bit to find a pretty spot, open up your chair and type on an ipad, or make notes in your journal...and while you're walking, have a tape recorder as so many others suggested, and when an idea pops into your head record it.

And don't pigeon hole yourself into what you've done before, and worrying about doing better.

Just create a fabulous tale...don't care if it ever gets published. You always just wrote and wrote about anything and everything for the joy of it. You never even contemplated truly getting it published. So you wrote what you loved...which is why it translated so well into real novels when you did publish. Your love of what you did shined thru...not the need to please publishers or readers...just yourself.

So, don't care about what we want to read. If suddenly you want to write a historical instead of a paranormal...or even a non-romance, just write what interests you.

We'll love it no matter what.

Love you, Jacki!


JamieRebecca said...

take the time to indulge your inner kid!!! maybe u need a break. besides new experiences can give u new inspiration to write about. def dont go back to ur chair and write, too much negativity tied to it! look for a lake, park, or garden to be near to write. but take the time for yourself. u've achieved some serious weight loss... u deserve to bask in the glory of it!

Jessica G. said...

Go for the pen and paper, invest in a program which will allow you to scan editable documents, and then have fun! My brain works best when I am moving. Don't be afraid to sit down when inspiration strikes and just put pen to paper! BTW, I love your books.