Greetings from Slumpy Hollow, Slumptavia

So it’s been several weeks since I’ve touched my novel to any significant degree. Weeks. Maybe more than a month. I’m beside myself. I’ve tweaked and revised several short stories, spent time researching markets where I might submit them, attended several classes, re-sent book 1 of my novel series to the publisher I’ve wanted all along (they never responded the first time, and their guidelines say to re-send), and I sent the entire manuscript to another publisher who had an unexpected open submissions period where no agent was needed (neither of these publishers have a “no simultaneous submissions” mention on their guidelines). I’ve read through several of the scenes in book two of my novel series and made a few small changes. So I haven’t been ignoring my craft. I just haven’t written anything new other than blog posts or book reviews, nor have I continued the narrative in book two. When I do open it, I watch the daily target word count creep up and up and up, small increases for now but the longer it takes me to knock that down, the bigger they’ll get.

It isn’t that I don’t want to write. I do. I just can’t seem to get away from Life’s distractions long enough to nail my butt to the chair until it’s so late in the evening that I’m either wiped or too frazzled to focus, or it’s too close to bedtime. I don’t know about you, but if I write up until time to shut down and go to bed, sleep is hard to find. I have to stop and walk away from the computer at least two hours before I hope to close my eyes for the night. (When did that happen? I used to be able to write until 4:00 a.m., then go straight to bed, sleep three hours, and work all the next day.)

I’m on vacation this week, and spent the whole day today cleaning my desk (I could barely reach my computer), doing laundry (or I’d be naked), and other assorted tasks that I’ve been putting off too long. I meant to write. I wanted to write. I tried to write.

The words wouldn’t come.

I don’t remember the last time I was in a slump this bad. Maybe it’s the holidays, which seemed much busier this year than in the past. Is it just me? And no, we don’t spend a great deal of time shopping for gifts. While I understand the desire to exchange gifts with friends and loved ones, it seems to me that the Mercantile Scramble has become the main focus of Christmas. It’s gotten so bad we try to avoid going anywhere retail oriented (other than the grocery store) between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Doesn’t matter what’s behind it. I fully expect you all to wag your finger in my direction and remind me of my BIC HOK TAM mantra. You’d be right to do so. This cannot go on. The voices in my head are yammering non-stop for me to let them out, so tomorrow I intend to sit at the computer and do nothing but write.

So fair warning to all my friends and family: I love you. But for the rest of this week, don’t look for me on Facebook or e-mail. Don’t call unless it’s an emergency. Don’t text. Or rather, feel free to do so, just know you’ll have to speak to our voice mail or expect an answer next YEAR (hee!). These blank pages and I? We have a date, and I’m not missing it again.

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