Out of the Drought

Dust Bowl

When it rains, it pours and when it dries up, it’s like the dust bowl.  I am sure you are familiar with it. When writer’s block hits it can feel like you are enveloped in a thick cloud of dust and you can’t find your way out.  Yet, if you stay put, the dust settles around you, packing in, making it difficult to move forward.

After the dust

Some call it a muse, or inspiration.  I don’t know what I call it, but I’m feeling the need to write again.  Right now.  And my fingers aren’t moving fast enough.  Since I’ve stepped away from my blog during the drought, I figured I would start here.

The cause of droughts:

  • sick children (like one having his tonsils and adenoids out, then finally gets back to school and the other comes down with a monster cold!)
  • rejections
  • don’t have the right snacks in the house
  • my character falls into a plot hole and likes it down there
  • gray skies
  • the oncoming needs of the holiday season
  • reading your work and saying, “I wrote this garbage?”
  • your favorite writing spot has become overwhelmed by college kids whose procrastination is catching up with them and you can’t find a single seat at the cafe where the muse flows best
  • reading your work and saying, “This is so good, why can’t I find an agent who thinks so too?”
  • can’t find matching socks
  • and many, many more.  What’s yours?

What I did during my drought:

  • sucked it up and wrote anyway, though not very much, and not very well, but had to keep going
  • critiqued others’ writing
  • received critiques from others
  • cleaned off my husband’s desk and usurped it for Christmas central.  He said it felt like his desk was Ukraine.  I guess that makes me Russia!
  • started using Twitter.  Still trying to get the hang of it all. (By the way, @sususanti1871).
  • Read.  A lot 🙂
  • Found some great online resources (see below)
  • Joined on online course, to try to stir things up.

The key is – keep at it.  The flood gates will open again.

Resources I found that might interest you:

National Novel Writing Month

Query letter help from Chuck Sambuchino – What to include in bio portion

Pitch University

Twitter guide for authors and illustrators

Online course about pacing for picture picture books

Affordable online workshops

Jill Corcoran’s query formula

If you have an online resource that you treasure, please share it in a comment.

Gotta get back to writing now.  Hope you do too.