Going Silent and Coming Back

Jar Room Wonder

Well, WordPress followers … if you’re still out there … I’ve gone silent since September 18th, 2018 with my Lady Ashburn Mustard Pickles post. What a post to go out on. By the way, those pickles are so delicious! Okay, all kidding aside, months can fly by when one is filling non-writing time with food preservation, road trips, holidays and sock knitting.

Happy feet

There are about a hundred good posts in the above activities, but this blog is supposed to be all about writing. If I come to a dry spell again, I might start an all about non-writing blog. Then again, not writing really meant not writing. I have been hard pressed to put something as short and simple as an email together.

Let’s talk writing blocks. Every author has them. Getting my last book (No Compass to Right) out in 2017 was a huge effort – faster than usual writing timeline for all stages, a rush to publication to meet certain promotion opportunities then blissful nothingness. Stepping back from the whirlwind was much needed.

Kayak & kid magic

My well-earned rest flowed right into summer at the lake, visitors and a bountiful garden to enjoy. Along comes fall and there is the imperative of fresh produce begging for preservation. Then immersion as a sideline cheerleader on our jar and freezer room project (check it out in the first pic on this post). More than satisfying to see that space completed! And suddenly it is time for a road trip. We get home, catch our breath and we are in the Christmas rush. Busy, busy, busy.

Brit, Fran and Emma at Crowsnest Pass in Alberta Nov3-2018 - bruce witzel photo

I’m not fooling any of the writers out there with my busyness excuses. When we need to write, nothing gets in the way and everything else still gets done – for the most part. Writers are efficient with their time.

Coming back is hard. I can’t deny it. The longer I stayed away from daily writing, the more of a brick wall went up. Deconstructing the wall takes time. My endurance for sustained writing is low. In the first fifteen minutes I fight down a constant stream of demanding thoughts. I need to get up for a snack, perhaps another cup of coffee, maybe I should check my email and on it goes. Then, without any fanfare, I fall into the zone and the next forty-five minutes whiz by.

In a rush of energy at the end of writing No Compass to Right, I created extensive notes for the next book. Last week, I started back to those notes and simply hanging out with the characters. Asking questions. What is on their minds, where do they want to go, what do they want to be doing in book five? And do those characters ever clamour for attention. They speak, oh man do they speak – some go so far as to yell and scream. The ideas come in front of the keyboard as I write and while I do my daily walk. I snapped this photo through the glass of our greenhouse the other day. Datura in full bloom with evergreen reflection.

January Greenhouse Datura

Once I am back to writing, the desire to send my thoughts out into the blogosphere returns. This has been my longest WordPress silence since I started blogging in 2012. Here’s to going silent and here’s to coming back. If anyone is still listening … here’s a couple of pics of me and Bruce at Emerald Lake in YoHo National Park.

Me and Bruce at Emerald Lake         Emerald Lake - Yo Ho National Park

29 comments on “Going Silent and Coming Back

  1. Tiffany says:

    It sounds like you’ve been filling the pages of your life with wonderful content. Thank you for sharing with us, and welcome back!

  2. evelynralph says:

    Reblogged this on evelynralph and commented:
    For those bloggers/writers who have hit that wall, lost their Amuse.
    Evelyn.

  3. oldmainer says:

    Yup, I’m still listening. Welcome back.

  4. I’m still here and still listening. Glad you’re back! (And I’m envious of your jar room!)

    • I know, right? That jar room … what can I say. A dream come true. It made the hours in the kitchen slaving over the canning equipment well worth the effort. Display is everything. Well, not quite. We are enjoying the eating, too.

  5. 1WriteWay says:

    You can’t without living and your photos are testament to how well you were living during your hiatus … I prefer to think of a long silence as a hiatus rather than writer’s block 😉 I would argue however that you can write about anything on your blog. The act of writing, even if about knitting or a road trip, is still writing. I probably put more effort into writing those posts than I do when I write about writing. And you have followers out there who also knit socks and love to read about knitting socks. We are not just one thing. Your photos are wonderful and show off your multi-faceted life. Especially the socks photos …

    • Yes indeed – writing about writing is writing about everything and I love the idea of writer’s hiatus versus writer’s block. So much more representative of what is going on. Living. Keep on the look-out for a knitting sock post 🙂 Thanks so much for these right-on words. I like your write way.

  6. 1WriteWay says:

    Ugh … should have proofed before hitting Send … first line should begin “You can’t write without living”

  7. noelleg44 says:

    DELIGHTED to hear from you, Francis, and I know all too well about going silent. Books tend to overtake you, and you have to have time for exercise, outings and family. It keeps you from going crazy! Welcome back…

  8. MariHoward says:

    This is great Francis! I have also been away from writing – with grandkids arriving, with computer problems of many kinds, and with a horrible scary brush with illness, and with getting over that and re-meeting my life again. You are so write: thankfully as Indie writers I guess, we are not hounded by publishing contracts, thankfully, and can’t be dropped by publishers either… I worry about not writing, but I’ve had to not do it, and l like you am trying to re-engage again with my series and characters … may I give a URL of your blog out to others? It might best describe how some of us re not ‘blocked’ but are nonethless called to do other things at times …

    • It seems we are on a similar path, Mari, when it comes to writing and living. Though I haven’t had a scary brush with illness lately, I remember my own experience vividly and send my well wishes for the fact that you have re-met your life on the other side. No doubt the experience will be fodder for the writing work. It is good we don’t have contracts and publishers breathing down our necks 🙂 At the beginning of my self-publishing career, I thought I was settling for 2nd best and had dreams of being discovered by an agent or publisher. Now, I couldn’t be further from wanting such a thing. Here’s to unblocking or as another commenter calls it – ending the writer’s hiatus. I like that. You may definitely share my blog anywhere and everywhere 🙂

  9. S.C. Jensen says:

    I’m trying to work my way back up to daily writing, too. I’d be happy with 4 days a week! I’ve been doing flash fiction challenges just to keep me going.

    • For me, just being in front of the keyboard doing any writing – emails, blog posts, notes – anything at all, is the doorway into writing the next novel. It’s like prying up the spillway. The flood of words is inevitable. Thanks for stopping by. Writer’s hiatus be gone – we are on the way.

      • S.C. Jensen says:

        I just received my assignment for the NYC Midnight Short Story competition, so my gears are churning! I get to write a fairy tale, so that should be fun.

  10. Great to have you back blogging, Fran. I, too, have had quite a hiatus, but due to Ian’s deteriorating health. He has been hospitalized since December 12 and is now being paneled for a personal care home. Lots of changes. I’ve just managed to get my annual Christmas/New Year’s letter out to friends. Sending fond regards and good vibes for your future writing. Gayle Moore-Morrans

    • I’m very sorry to hear of the reason for your hiatus. Poor Ian, poor you. The changing landscape of deteriorating health is a hard one to be traversing. My thoughts are with you both. Writing does percolate through our life experiences. When the time is right, I have no doubt you will have many things to say in putting pen to paper. Thanks for your fond wishes.

  11. rongeigle says:

    Really nice to hear from you again. I share so many of those same feelings about writing. At my end, I’ve been away a long time as well. I almost quit, in part, because of the negatives in the social media. But I’m back. And am encouraged by your return as well. Ron

    • Likewise, so nice to hear from you Ron 🙂 Oh, the writing life. It sure has its ups and downs. Hands down – ignore most social media. Some of my book reviews are so scathing that when I read them I imagine they are actually emitting flames. There you go – everyone has an opinion. They are welcome to it but I don’t have to hear it all. Here’s to writing for ourselves and to heck with everyone else.

  12. Sheila Good says:

    I feel your pain. I too have been silent. Life has dealt me an unexpected blow and all my energy has been used putting one foot in front of the other. Maybe, I will find my way back – I just don’t know. It was good to hear from you again and loved your pictures. A well-deserved break.

    • So glad the pics were enjoyable. Writing hiatus has been a break, for sure. Not all fun and dragging on too long for reasons hard to explain. Much sympathy for whatever curve life has thrown your way, Sheila. Hard to know, at such times, if or when we will find our way back to the written page. I believe it will happen, for all of us.

  13. Roy McCarthy says:

    Welcome back Francis. Writing is, of course, optional – unless you do it for a living. And I’ve always imagined doing anything professionally would inevitably draw the pleasure out of it. But looking forward to seeing if you will kick on, or not. Best wishes.

    • I’m betting I’ll kick on and off a few dozen times before I get another book out – just hoping the intervals between the kicks is small. All about balance – I want to maybe be professional without being a professional. Is that possible? Certainly hope that the fun never goes out of writing.

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