Look at us! A new logo and a great blog topic to start the New Year: New Beginnings. How do you motivate yourself to get back to writing when life has interrupted your flow and/or how do you begin a new writing challenge? A new genre? A new series?
Life interrupted my flow last year. I had a book to finish, books to edit, blogs to write, and no inclination to write another word when that was all done.
I went to the UK for April and most of May, visiting my three children before flying to Glasgow to meet up with a friend who was born there. She was happy to show me her Scotland, and after not enough time in Glasgow, we travelled to the island of Arran, off Scotland’s west coast. Arran is Scotland in miniature, with the scenery in the north of the island like the highlands and the south the lowlands. Some of it was rugged and regal, threatening at times when the weather changed, the clouds rolling in from the Atlantic and soaking us with cold, heavy rain. Lots of atmosphere here prompted me to scribble notes in the pad I always have in my purse.
Scotch is my tipple of choice, so going to a distillery for a tasting was a must. We first visited the Lochranza distillery in the north of Arran and then Lagg in the south. I learnt so much, not just about the distilling process but the smuggling that went on too. Hmm. Smuggling. There’s a trope here. We visited the heritage museum and listened to one of the volunteers talking about the clearances, a dark time when entire communities moved out of their homes and off their land. The stories we heard sparked my imagination. What would it be like to live off seaweed, fish, and little else? Lady – what shall I call her? - was furious with her father when he claimed the crofters' land. Now, where did that thought come from?
After a week on Arran, we set off again, this time to Edinburgh. Whereas Glasgow is primarily a Victorian city, parts of Edinburgh are Georgian, especially the lovely Charlotte Square. I could see any of these houses as the home of my character Lady – oh, hang on a minute. Scratch that. I’m off writing. My Scottish experience was over too soon, but before we parted company, my friend challenged me to write a Regency romance with a Scottish setting. Hmm. Possibly.
I returned to my family for a few days and then drove down to St. Ives in Cornwall. I had forgotten the steep hill down into the town and how narrow the streets were. After checking into the hotel, I walked to the beach and, darn it, another idea struck me. Out of nowhere, I had the premise for a women’s fiction novel. So much for not writing.
In quiet moments I jotted ideas for a Scottish Regency and a contemporary women’s fiction. I had settings, characters, and a few lines of dialogue all worked out over a solitary lunch of blackened, locally sourced sea bass. Before I knew it, I had a whole new writing plan, which made me conclude that once a writer, always a writer.
Just because we are not sitting in front of a computer, or however any writer chooses to work, does not mean we are not writing. The ideas spring from anywhere at any time. We may not act on them immediately, but they are there, ready to be worked into something solid at some point. Taking a break from writing, as I found, stirred up the creative juices. I have a contemporary western romance in progress, so I will be kept busy between these three ideas for a while. That spring break gave me the quiet time I must have needed. Now for the hard part, actually knuckling down and writing them.
I’m looking forward to reading how my blog compatriots fare with their new beginnings. If I’ve missed anyone, I apologize in advance.
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-2OQ
Anne Graham https://goo.gl/h4DtKv
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Diane Bator https://dbator.blogspot.com/
A.J. McGuire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Marci Baun https://www.marcibaun.com/blog
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea