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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hitting the Wall

The term “hitting the wall” is most often used by runners to describe a feeling of sudden fatigue and/or loss of energy making it difficult, if not impossible to finish their race. However, runners aren’t the only ones that experience the feeling of not being able to go on. I “hit the wall” writing-wise at the end of September 2016.

It all began with working on the revisions to Dances with Werewolves, the second book in my Kudzu Korners series. (The first book, Dial V for Vampire, was published by Fire Star Press in August 2016.) I love my world of Kudzu Korners and all of the books that I have roughly plotted out in my head. However, the more I worked on my revisions, the worst things got. My story wasn’t flowing – it was choppy and I wasn’t happy with it. I realized that, in order to fix the problems, my book basically needs a complete rewrite. Whereas the basic plot will remain the same, the story is currently told from the hero’s point of view; it will flow better if told from the heroine’s point of view. This realization really took the wind out of my sails and, rather than deal with the situation head-on, I began avoiding it.

Image courtesy of

Things just went downhill from there. As a writer, the world of social media is a big part of my life. It was not a fun world to be a part of for most of last year due to the presidential election. No one other than God and my husband know how I vote and I avoid all political discussions online. As you probably already know, the 2016 election was highly divisive. (I know someone whose own daughter stopped speaking to her because she disagreed with who her mother voted for. Seriously?) I consider myself to be a relatively optimistic person and for months I had been patting myself on the back about not letting all of the negativity steal my joy. Well, about the time my story blew up, my joy disappeared as well. The constant online negativity became an emotional drain. I lost a lot of respect for people that I consider friends because of their judgmental comments toward anyone who dared to think differently. Sadly, the election did not end the hostility but at least the levels of hysteria are no longer in the stratosphere. (It probably helps that I no longer follow individuals who spew nothing but anger and negativity toward others.)

November and December were tough emotionally due to the death of my father earlier this year (and my mother moving away to live with my sister). While I came through my daddy’s birthday and the holidays relatively well, it was period that was also seasoned with its share of sadness.

I’m a book cover junkie and I have bought covers for books that I haven’t even written yet. I use the covers as the wallpaper on my laptop; seeing them makes me smile and keeps me motivated. Once of the most frightening events during this whole I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up season was when I was using my laptop and one of my beloved book covers came up and I had no reaction to it. Zero. Even worse, I couldn’t remember what the story was about or the main character’s names. That really, really scared me.

However, I’m pleased to announce that the tide has finally turned. My characters are talking to me again and I’m slowly regaining my joy. I write humorous stories about people falling in love and I think our world needs more humor; I honestly believe that it is one of the reasons I was put here. So, it’s time to pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back to the joy of writing.

Here’s to a new hope for a new year! *raises hot cocoa in toast*

How have you dealt with the difficult seasons of your life?

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  1. I am very familiar with hitting the wall, writer's block, and resisting writing a story because I have done it from time to time myself. So many things can distract us from writing. Sometimes we just need to step back from a WIP and rethink it. one of my best selling books came from a period of writer's block in which, even though I had my story plotted out, I just couldn't make myself write it.
    The media seems to love spreading negativity, doubt, and angst whenever they can to gain audience attention. Sometimes it helps me to just stop watching the news and carry on with my life as if everything was just peachy keen regardless.
    I'm glad you were able to triumph over your dilemma and move forward again.
    I wish you all the best in this new year, Isabella.

    1. Thank you, Sarah. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. It's always nice to know that I'm not alone with my writerly struggles.