IWSG: Where Did the Fire Go?

Welcome to IWSG‘s monthly gathering of authors who confess the truth about writing a best seller, and/or offer guidance from their wealth of trials and tribulations. Click on the link to discover more author blogs and their passions.

The awesome co-hosts for the August 7 posting of the IWSG are Renee Scattergood, Sadira Stone, Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan, and LG Keltner!

August 7 question – Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you’d forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?

The surprise is something I’m thinking few of you have experienced. And it frightens me. The next manuscript is ready – in my head. The plot is gripping and the characters scream at me to begin.

Last month I thought I understood my reluctance to begin page one. I needed not just a climax, but the mind jarring, never saw that coming ending. Accomplished. Now that the final stroke of paint has stained the ethereal canvas, it’s time. Give it life.

Like a Ferrari positioned at the race start line, engines surging, tires nearly pawing the ground, the foot just centimeters above the accelerator, I can’t release the brake.

This is so unlike my experience with the previous two manuscripts. I couldn’t wait until my research was complete and the outline, fragmented and hazy at best, was done. I’m looking for the fire that took control, drove me to near compulsive behavior to write not just everyday, but sometimes to the exclusion of meals and social activities. Is the fire gone, burned out?

12 thoughts on “IWSG: Where Did the Fire Go?

    1. Thank you, Alex. I’ve been thinking the same thing; just put anything down and maybe the magic will return. I think part of my fear is that after winning three awards for Forbidden, the next has to be just as successful, or even better. Might be wiser to just write simply for the pleasure like I did for the first novel. The ego is not giving up so easy.


  1. I feel similar as I work on/avoid the manuscript to my third novel. I think a big part of my problem is that my first two did not reach publication despite my efforts in queryland. It makes me wonder, “What’s the point?”. For now, I am exhausting myself physically in yard work and tackling clutter-busting activities around the house with an eye on September when the kids will be back in school. I hope the idea of writing, if even for myself, will become attractive enough to keep me typing. I also enjoy editing so much more than the first draft.

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      1. Yes, I consider it often, but I know that there would be a ton of work needed to secure an audience. There is also the fear that if you fail to get an audience, then this will be a black mark against you if you try to get a traditional publisher later for a future book.


  2. Take your muse out to play with something different, or color or go do something your inner child loves. Let yourself work on something else give yourself permission. Mindmapping, doodling, sketching, journaling, play. You may find your way back to the passion for your story. Happy IWSG day.

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    1. I’ve been working on the ‘concept’ of play. Sounds odd given that everyone should be good at playing. Some of my issues have to do with adjusting to being a widow and sadness. Even after redecorating my home, gardening, and fun with friends, I’m still hoping the old spunky woman will return. Time, I guess. Time and meditation. Blessings to you, Juneta.

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      1. I get that heavy sadness. With writing you just have to work through, with it, or around it. I am not sure it ever goes away. It is an easy trigger, but time is the only thing that helps because you learn new coping skills. Blessing to you too.

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  3. jenlanebooks

    Hi, Judy! I think the fire burns brighter some days than others, but I don’t think it’s out. You’ve obviously been doing a lot of outlining and plotting, which is part of writing. Maybe you’re focusing too much on the outcome (the finished manuscript) instead of the process. What part of the writing process is your favorite? Describing a pivotal scene, introducing a character, writing snappy dialogue? Maybe you could start there when you feel ready.

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    1. Thank you, Jen. I like it all, even just setting up the mood. This group helps a lot. It’s reassuring to know that other writers struggle with some barrier or issues; the encouragement from the group is wonderful. I do miss our old o-sisters group, though. I owe a lot to you and the others for helping me through a lot of writing and publishing challenges. I’d put on a party for all of you. Blessings


  4. This kind of log jam is common. I’ve experienced it and I’ve discussed it with other writers. I think is part of being human and a writer–difficult combo. Sometimes I doodle myself back to the story. Other times I just hike until I’m really tired and everything seems to fall into place. We all have to find our own way back.

    Let us know what you do and how the story is coming along.

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