Drips and Drabs

I shouldn’t have checked social media before sitting down to write this blog post. I’d planned on a recap of this week’s accomplishments. Then I was reminded of a story that isn’t getting enough attention in my opinion. It involves our government losing 1,500 migrant children, and I’m just outraged. (You can read the story here.)

I called my Representative and Senators about the issue. Posted on Facebook and Twitter too. My blood is still boiling though, and I feel a powerful urge to cause physical pain to some bigoted person.

Which brings me back to a recap of my writing week. I set my daily word count a bit lower this week. I haven’t had much luck in hitting 1,000 words a day the past few weeks, so I halved that as my goal for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. And, I got 2,700 words written in total on those three days. That felt really, really good.

I’m crafting a short story in response to an anthology’s CFS. The topic is “ME TOO: Crimes Against Women, Retribution, and Healing.” It’s been a tough piece to write, and I’m not yet sure if the finished story will be worth submitting. I’m not worried about that right now, though. Plenty of time before the deadline to figure out if I think it’s a strong enough story to share.

Writing this darker piece as proven to be a good channel for rage, fury, fear, and the other emotions that have been challenging to deal with since the last Presidential election. Unfortunately, those same emotions have made working on my romance novel nearly impossible. It’s hard to write a happy, uplifting story about everything working out in the end when it feels like the world is on fire around me. I try reaching for optimism, but I’m usually a pessimist even in the best of times. And this ain’t the best of times. I doubt it’s the worst of times either, but it sure ain’t a picnic. But I digress.

Because writing about a couple finding their happily-ever-after ending has been a challenge, I’ve decided I’m not going to fight my darker impulses. If all I can tap into are rage and fear, then perhaps it’s time to let my darker side out to play. Plenty of stories and books can lean on those emotions. Maybe writing about darker, scarier topics will help me get those impulses out. Then, I can return to the romance with some clarity.

I’m also aware that I might not get back to revising the romance. It’s possible that I’ve lost energy and focus on that piece. I could be that it wasn’t the kind of work that will sustain me for the long haul. Or, our political and economic systems might continue to fray and make writing everything harder. The funny thing about the writing life is that it doesn’t come with a crystal ball. Would that it did.

On a positive note, I signed up for a second writing class at the Writers Studio. I feel I’ve been more consistent in sitting down and writing with a weekly class to push me. I hope that continuing classes through the summer will push me to get more work done. It might cause problems with some of the stuff happening at work, but I’m going to do my best to continue to put my writing first. That’s the job that matters to me, even if it doesn’t pay well. Gotta go where my heart leads.

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