There have been a few periods in my life where words have come from my imagination to my fingertips producing a story or book or screenplay in record time. It’s a rush, a fervor. At its peak it feels like I can’t write fast enough to keep up with the characters living inside my mind. In those periods I willingly lost sleep, typing away until the deep midnight hours until I had to practically drag myself away.
In the 90’s and early 00’s I was part of the fanfic community online, publishing stories about my favorite boyband under my real name, and to rave reviews. I recall I not only made friends with other fanfic authors (some of whom helped host my stories on their sites) but developed something of a following online. This was wayyy before influencers and even social media. Back in the wild west days of the internet when your website was hosted on Geocities or Tripod, and later the explosion of being hosted on super cool sounding domains, or getting your own and hosting others. This was back before blogs were called blogs, but the idea was generally the same. What I’m saying is it was a whole different internet back then and it feels absolutely wild to even try to compare it to the social media-dominated world we live in now. But I digress.
I was a prolific fanfic author, producing dozens of stories and series about my favorite boybanders. This was at the *height* of their popularity, but few people IRL knew about my proclivities for fan fiction. My mom knew, of course. Even read some of it. With pride, I’ll add. I outgrew that phase maybe sometime around college. Then in grad school the next wave/bump/phase came when I was studying for my Masters in Media Psychology (as you can see, I have an affinity for the internet, lol) when I wrote and published Zoe Thanatos, and then that wave ultimately pushed me into the next, which is when Candidate Four and the rest of The Bidden Series came to life.
There have been peaks since but none so great and epic as ten or twenty years ago. These days, and lately in general, writing has been an absolute struggle. Whenever I finish writing a book I ultimately have this feeling that I will never write another one again. I’ve proven myself wrong 99% of the time… until now. For whatever reason, maybe laziness, maybe a very shallow well of inspiration, I haven’t been able to write or publish much in the way of a great story in years.
That’s part of the reason I decided to take a break. Like they tend to do, this hobby of mine has fallen into misuse on account of every day adult life. Working, marriage, mortgage, bills, laundry, cleaning, relaxing… I have always made time for writing, but I haven’t been satisfied with the fruit of that labor in a long, long time.
I don’t know what it is that is blocking me. It’s like there’s a disconnect where there once was an electric current of free-flowing ideas happening faster than I could process them. On the one hand I wonder if I’m placing much too much pressure on myself. Writing is my hobby, not my full time job. I have a full time job, a life, commitments, a family of adopted cats and dogs and my lovely husband. So it’s not like my livelihood depends on my ability to write. In another life, perhaps, I have the sublime pleasure of being a full time writer. But in the here and now, in this universe, it often takes a backseat to other, higher priority tasks. A big part of me regrets that deeply.
Whatever shape or form this block comes in, I hope to come out smiling on the other side, victorious and with a killer story to show for it. In the meantime, the daily toil and struggle commences as scheduled.