Wednesday, August 4, 2021

IWSG: My Pandemic Challenges

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IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.
Welcome to mine!



August 4 question is about a favorite craft book, but it's been years since I've picked one up, so I'll need to go with my own this month!



It doesn't help how the pandemic has turned this world topsy-turvy, nor does it help how conflicts have sapped my creativity in real life, either.

The story I submitted for the IWSG Anthology Contest, Dark Matter was my last before hitting a rut. All I've been doing is going down the list of books I've already written and editing them since my creative flow has suffered so much.



There was a song that sparked a science fiction story inside me back in 2008. I felt the depressive, mournful mood it struck. I imagined advanced technology, a powerful government, people who obeyed its strict laws with very little individuality but never realizing it.

The setting was slippery in my head: though it was technologically advanced, it was very much integrated with nature. 

I set that lump of magic in my brain vault for another time.


photo by Lars_Nissen @ pixabay.com


So, bear in mind how with the pandemic, woven tightly with emotional trauma, it was difficult to write anything at all. 

When this story finally came to me 13 years later in June of this year, I was flabbergasted. The plot, characters, specific setting--everything--hit me all at once.

The first night I battled around with it (June 14); I'd only written about 2k words over the course of about five hours, despite having the full story in mind. It was a huge struggle for me!

Comparing this to my past record of writing 50k books in a week, this was disheartening.

Today, I have 52,810 words with a bit of a rewrite (the first few chapters weren't going the direction I wanted) in my aforementioned story but am just about halfway through.

photo by jplenio @ pixabay.com

I'm still reeling with the fact that I'm barely managing to keep up with my past record. I hope that this means that whatever I've been fighting no longer bars me from my writing.

Here is the blurb to my story:


Balance. Peace. Order. Everything Nreena has lived for shatters the moment an accident nearly takes her life. If it were not for Daemos, she would have never known what a kiss felt like, or a touch—she especially would have never known what lurked right in front of her home these many years…



Do you have a recoup story you can share? How did you deal with the tangling emotions? The doubt? How did you breakthrough?



*edited 8/5/2021







38 comments:

  1. Hang in there! Sounds like a great project. I can't share much of a recovery story. I surely get knocked down, but the comeback is always dreadfully slow. Each time I prepare for a return to progress, something else squashes it. If schools go virtual again, I will probably run screaming into a cold, dark forest somewhere. (I run a school-aged program at a child care center.)

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  2. I believe we suffer from a similar malady. I haven't been able to write anything worthwhile. So, I re-edited a book.

    I believe all writer's suffer from doubt and insecurities. Once you begin to breakthrough that dismal cloud the sun peeks out. And you put a few words on paper and see where they take you.

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    1. Exactly! There is a sense of insecurity with every book until the world opens up!

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  3. Hi Elizabeth, I too have never read a craft book. But as I bought one many years back, I plan to read it this month.

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    1. Wonderful! I hope you find something that sticks!

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  4. Sorry you're in a rut. This has definitely been a tough time. I love your blurb! Just keep writing even if it's less than normal and you'll get it back. Hang in there.

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  5. Glad that story has got you going again.

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    1. Thank you! And it's scifi! Aaach! My second time dabbling in it.

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  6. I don't find your situation where something 'marinates' for a while that strange. I think our minds work on things on a subconscious level. We are just going on with life and something is simmering under the surface. I used to research for my college papers early in the semester but only write the final paper very close to the turn in date. I don't think the 'down' time between research and writing was not being used, just not consciously and when I did start to write it flowed pretty easily. On with the writing!

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    1. I love your method, that sounds pretty grand. The mind doesn't stop working, that's for sure. Thank you!

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  7. I'm sorry you've hit a rut, but editing your stories is something great to do when you're struggling and you can get your mind on editing. So many of us are struggling. Our motivation and inspiration and usual word counts just aren't there. Take it easy on yourself. You've been through a lot (we all have), and it'll take time to get back there. But being halfway through is a great thing and an amazing accomplishment given the circumstances.

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  8. Sorry you're struggling so much. I can relate. I had no desire to write for years after my husband died and went long times without writing because I was so busy with working and being a parent and wife. Don't give up. Editing and reading is good during these slump or busy times.

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    1. Big changes are difficult to navigate. Thanks for the encouragement, Natalie.

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  9. Sometimes, my creativity dries up. In other times, it flows. I never rush it or force it. It will come again, when it is time.

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    1. I love how you bear patience for yourself. I'll need to remember that for myself!

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  10. Little by little, is how I deal with tangling emotions. And faith that all will be well. great that you wrote 52K words.

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    1. Little by little is a great place to be. Taking it all at once is too much! Thank you!

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  11. I'm where you are right now, writing but lost my confidence in my writing in many ways. Wish I could say more than keep writing, but Keep Writing! Hope you have a better August.

    Anne from annehiga.com

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    1. I hope you find confidence in your writing soon! Thank you.

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  12. Hi, Elizabeth! What a gift to have your story come to you with plot, characters, and specific setting all at once, even if it was 13 years after you first thought of it. Good luck as you write! 52,810 words is awesome. I don't know anyone who is feeling their usual productive right now. I think we are all exhausted by the challenges of the last 18 months or so. Take care!

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    1. I'm grateful for IWSG and the friends it comes with. I hope we all find ourselves soon!

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  13. I think we've landed in the same place. Recently, I realized that going out and spending time with people was how I filled my writer's heart and my imaginary cup of inspiration. I'm still thinking on how I can change this. So far, bubble baths, communing with nature is all I've got.:-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  14. ooh. I love your premise!
    I'm glad you are getting back into your writing groove. Even if it is slower, you are writing. That's all that matters when you love writing.

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    1. We can't give up when we love it so much. Thank you!

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  15. I've read a few craft books and I DO want to read more but time is always tight.
    I know that the pandemic has affected many writers, who are struggling to get those word counts going as before. Even if you are slow, as long as you are getting the words down on the page/computer screen - that's important. Don't be too hard on yourself.

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    1. So true! A small step forward is still a step forward.

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  16. Oh, boy,... can I RELATE. Being in a funk for so long now. I did force myself to write a flash for a blog hop and it felt great to write again. BUT, once more, I fail to keep up the mojo...yes this pandemic is ruining my ambition and creative flow. UGH. Like you, I am falling back on previous works. I had STARTED to rewrite my first novel. I adore this charming fantasy story which took me six weeks to write and nearly ten years to edit. LOL. Our first babies...we never want to let go. But I feel strongly about this story and want to bring it to the work as fine as I can... Keep at it, Elizabeth. Even if you are writing at a slower pace, it is all about quality, not quantity.

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    1. I've been thinking about reworking my very first novel. LOL. It's really purple prosey and I cringe to get into it but the storyline is unforgettable. Thank you for your inspiring encouragement, Michael!

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  17. Hi Elizabeth!

    I think your previous record of 50K words in a week is superhuman and would be hard to keep up with or compare yourself with, especially under the current circumstances. The fact that you have written this many words in the last two months is incredible in itself. I understand you are a true writer, but when inspiration lacks, there is always editing, just brainstorming, prompts, or mulling over an existing story.

    I think you're doing great as this new story shapes up and gets finalized. Keep it up and don't forget to breathe. :-)

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    1. Liesbet, thank you! Life throws too many snowballs--sometimes more than one at once and everything takes precedence as writing steps back. Never give up, right?

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  18. That has to be a fantastic feeling, to suddenly have it all come together! Congratulations.

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    1. Thank you! Sometimes the muse just needs a good snooze. Haha!

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  19. Oh, but that's not a bad thing! Here I am feeling guilty for not doing enough editing. I hope you can get your edits done soon and start sending those books out into the wild, too! :-)

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    1. Editing! Whew! Editing is like doing the dishes--good to have clean ones when you're done and it's nice seeing something untidy become shiny! I need to get to editing too! never ever done. haha!

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