So, I spent nearly three years slowly losing my ability to write until it was gone completely. And then I spent months wondering if I would ever write again. Scary stuff for a creative type like me. When the freedom to create returned, I’m not sure that’s how I saw it. I just knew that my imagination was no longer dormant. I was dreaming again, sometimes about my stories, sometimes about other stuff, but I dreamt every night. After years during which I hardly dreamt at all, that was huge.
I was also day dreaming again. Telling stories in my head that had nothing to do with my books, but were just for my own entertainment. This had stopped happening sometime in the last couple of years, but I’d hardly noticed. Which is ridiculous when you consider that I used to say that if I wasn’t talking, I was telling myself a story in my head. It should have scared the crap out of me when I stopped.
But I was already terrified I was losing my ability to tell other people stories. It barely registered I wasn’t telling them to myself. None of this felt like a prison, per se. I kept living life as I knew it, doing the things I was supposed to do to be me as much as I was able.
However I had an epiphany the other day. I got a Tweet in my feed from Lori Foster about her Reader Author Get Together. I would really like to go. She Tweeted that there were still opportunities for authors to sponsor meals. I was considering it. I prayed about it. RWA National is in San Diego this year, the following month. I would really like to go. I realize attending both events would be pushing it. In serious ways.
I prayed. I asked God to help me decide what to do. I picked up my Bible for my morning study and this was the first verse I read: Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
It hit me like a sledge hammer. I couldn’t even read any further for several seconds. It was like God was holding me in place. Don’t get back on the hamster wheel. I set you free to write, what the heck are you doing getting all caught up again on “being an author” because that’s what the trips are all about. They are the trappings of what I do and right now, they aren’t what I need. What I need is to write my books for a while, reconnect to my inner storyteller so she and I are so close we can’t get separated again, so she can’t get trapped in a prison again.
I’m not saying I’ll never go to another author event. I really, really, really want to attend Lori’s RAGT and I love RWA National Conference, but right now? Travel needs to feed my imagination. It needs to be about my freedom, not the hamster wheel of my captivity. The stories need to be my focus, not everything surrounding them once they get published.
I lost that focus. For so many reasons, a lot of them having nothing whatsoever to do with my career, I burnt out. I can’t afford to lose focus again. I must continue to refill the well even as I draw from it while working on the books I’m writing right now.
As ever, your friend and Cha Cha partner!