It’s been a few months since I’ve written any fiction. A few scribbles here and there, but nothing of substance. It wasn’t on purpose. My partner and I were caring for some elderly family members and that took up most of my time and effort. Afterwards, there was a lot to sort through. Not just estate-related issues, but also the PTSD of losing family.
But I didn’t completely shy away from the written word. I filled up a 240 page journal during that period, and I continued to post here on my blog. Just not as frequently. Fiction, however, was out of reach. I just wasn’t feeling it.
Until last night. I was laying in bed, half asleep, listening to the soft rain and wind outside my window. I was relaxed and straddling that fine, misty line between consciousness and sleep when a random thought caught my attention. You know how it is when you’re laying there in bed, drifting off. All those random thoughts and memories slip by like smoke in a breeze.
I saw a guy sitting at a bar in a sleazy pool hall. He was nursing a drink, cheap bourbon, and stealing glances at a redhead sitting in a corner booth with two men. I let is slip away for a moment, but then it returned, like my imagination didn’t want me to miss it.
The scene replayed several times, then began to expand, unfolding like a piece of origami.
I don’t know how much time passed, but the entire story was there behind my eyes. I sat up and grabbed my phone, typing out as much info as I could while half conscious. I’ve lost too many story ideas by being lazy at night and not taking the time to write down some notes before drifting off.
And this morning, when I woke up, the story was still there, ready to go.
It felt good, invigorating. I think a small part of me was worried that I wasn’t going to write again. Not anymore. I have a solid story ready for the page, a return to form. I’m excited.
It goes to show that writers have to trust their imaginations, have to trust in their own personal creative process. I wasn’t done as a fiction writer. I just needed time to heal, to clear my head, to move on.
If you do get in a rut, feel uninspired, used up, don’t give up hope. Just be patient. The muse will return and you’ll be back in the saddle before you know it.