The last few years have been a whirlwind for me. I published five books, made new friends, had several personal life crises, and made some really big changes.
Most of the changes have been good, but the abundance of changes in general strangled my ability to write for a long time. I went through a period of depression -- I cycled between kicking myself for not writing, and being unable to write because I was so down about not writing. I spoke to a friend recently about it, and the best way I could think of to describe that period was to say that I felt like a person with a horrible but treatable illness -- who was off their meds. And every day that went by without my being able to write, it got worse.
After being stuck in that cycle for a while, I wasn't sure if I would ever write again. Until I met up with the ETCWA.
The backstory: I had wanted to join the local chapter of the Romance Writers of America for a while, but I didn't want to spend money on dues when I wasn't sure I could commit to the RWA entirely. When I finally decided to go for it, I learned that I was too late. The local RWA chapter was disbanding. But ...
Several of the members of that group teamed up to begin a new group, the East Tennessee Creative Writers Alliance -- and that group is a large part of why I'm writing again. The group is like a co-op, a sharing of marketing knowledge, promotional efforts, and writing tips, and I don't know if it's the wealth of knowledge and encouragement shared between the members of the group, or if it's the various contests and writing exercises members are encouraged to participate in, but I do know that something has nudged the block away.
I know that when I sit down to write now, words come to me in a way that they haven't for a long time. I know that a book I've started over more times than I cared to count is now writing itself. I know that six other books are actively (though still slowly) flowing from my soul to my computer screen, that the words feel like they're pouring out of my fingertips and aligning themselves on the screen without my help at all.
And for me, that means all is right in my little corner of the world -- even if I still haven't managed to get that fifth-day blogging thing down yet.