Saturday, July 12, 2014


Summer is when I write. I work the other three seasons, and writing time is difficult to find. This summer, I’ve stopped writing, haven’t written at all in the past week. I have four books in progress just to prevent what has happened from happening. Usually if idea thread dries up in one work, I just switch to another WIP. Not this time. Now, as an excuse I can say I’ve had bronchitis all week. Where I was exposed I have no idea, I’m rather reclusive in the summer. But truthfully, there is no desire.

One manuscript in progress takes an enormous amount of research. If I get one thousand words a day done, I’m lucky. It seems I’ll write a few paragraphs and come up against something that needs described or investigated which means research. If research is needed, it takes a chunk of time, and sometimes, (thank God for the internet although I’ve bought some books almost as ancient as the period in the story) because I love history, I get lost in that research.

On another manuscript, I keep wondering if the reader will be interested, or am I caught up in minutia? Where is the action, the drama, the emotion tension, the physical danger? Is there enough, not enough? How can I make the action more visceral?

It’s not writer’s block. I know where these two plots are going. My mind just doesn’t want to go there right now. Perhaps it’s giving me a subliminal message. Usually, at times like this, a new idea comes to the fore demanding I work on it, but not this time. When I sit before the computer screen and pull up my WIP, I just sit staring or go exploring on the Internet. Avoidance techniques have been at play. I’m completing projects unfinished for years, even cleaning. It’s amazing the things I think up to do. The doll house made for my daughter has now been finished for my granddaughter whose probably too old to enjoy it. The fabric collected over the years has been made into some useful household items and I've freed up storage space. Have I reached crazy? Don't answer. Every writer is half way to crazy.

I’ll get back to my writing projects. I know I’ll work out what needs to be done. I will. Or I'll dump these projects and start a new ones. I'm compulsive that way. In the meantime, I’m sidelined and I have all these imaginary timelines bearing down on me.


Liz Flaherty said...

I think this is scary--it's happened to me more than once--because every single time, I think it's gone for good. Not sure how to describe "it," but I know when it's there and oh-my-God when it's not. Fingers crossed and atta-girls to you!

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Rhobin, you should check out that bronchitis with a doctor. Such things usually require an antibiotic. Forgive yourself, just feel more invested soon.

As to the research, call it Diana Gabaldon syndrome, and remember story first, then full speed ahead. The emotions will come.

Liz Fountain said...

You described my week perfectly, and I don't have bronchitis to blame. Thanks for the company - and thanks Julie & Liz Flaherty for the encouragement.

Liz Fountain

Rhobin Lee Courtright said...

Thanks, ladies, for your encouragement. I didn't want to sound like a whinny rant, although I probably did, but to share that I think we all have these interludes. And Julie, thanks for the advice, I have an appointment for next week.

Big Mike said...

Got the same thing going on, only with a non-fiction that I've been working for three years, seems like forever. Lord, when will it end.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)