Bah Humbug…

bahumbugAs my posts often are, I tend to share “things” going on in my life influencing my writing, with the thought there’s “something” going on beyond just my little mental shenanigans—and might be a nugget for my fellow readers and writers. This is another one of those posts, but possibly even more “rambling down the writing road” than others.

Generally I’m not a negative person, and tend toward optimism versus wallowing in negativity. As bad stuff happens, as it does in everyone’s life, my mind and personality tend to jump to finding a solution—if I can. Some things you just can’t fix. Besides being positive leaning, I’m also a rather private person—I know, I know, yet here I am writing a very public blog about all this. But I’m sharing, because of the prime motivator I have for writing these posts—that maybe other writers can identify with my experiences, and consequently say to themselves, either “I’m not like that, I’m doing it right,” or “yes, I can use those thoughts, too.”

Nonetheless, despite by positive personality leanings, I’ve been literarily down in the dumps for several months. Have barely written a word—instead, besides reading of course, I’ve been nonstop indulging in Perry Mason reruns, Midsomer Murders DVDs, TCM movies, The Saint reruns, and Murdoch.

Why, I asked myself? Especially since I’ve tried all my fix it techniques:[i]

Scheduled writing times and/or number of words,

Made a new cover,

Enhanced character’s backgrounds,

Imagined (not wrote) scenes,

Imagined (not wrote) enhancements to characters backgrounds,

Spoke ideas into my Kindle recorder to get me started when next at my computer,

Went to laptop versus desktop, and vice versa,

Analysis of the point of my tale, i.e. “Who” would care or enjoy the story and new characters,

Not needed research…

Still nothing, to the point of having blasphemous thoughts that I’d never write another book. Months passed.

Then I read with joy Jacqueline Vickie’s latest, Murder at Friendly Farm[ii] and I finally realized (I’d read in eBook format is my excuse for not noticing earlier,), Jacqueline’s book is a Novella. And there was my answer. Never Forgotten will be a novella, not a book. And trying to stretch into a book was stopping me in my writing tracks. An interesting side note, the effects of one’s writing in the world might not be what you expect at all. Thank you, Jacqueline.

Back writing at last! And on top of that, Jackie Houchin’s post about murder on the high seas, has started some new ideas for future books/novellas percolating in my writing brain.

The culmination of all this rambling and a possible nugget of insight for others, is: no matter how much discipline, ingenuity, helpful hint lists, practiced routines, and personal insight one has—sometimes you just have to say, Bah Humbug…then just wait.

Happy Writing Trails!


[i] Used to also do pottery

[ii]  Thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend! Evan is a delight, and it’s never too late to celebrate Christmas. https://smile.amazon.com/Murder-Friendly-Farm-Mystery-Novella-ebook/dp/B082BGBMV1/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=jacqueline+vick&qid=1582485335&sr=8-3   Thank you, Jackie!

22 thoughts on “Bah Humbug…”

  1. Wow! What a revelation. So glad you have your mojo back thanks to another writer. Facing 70,000 words or more can be daunting to some of us although our dear colleague Rosemary is not one of them (!). Obviously it was the thought that amounted to terror and not your talent, that was presenting the problem. I second your final two words – Just wait.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Patricia! I’m so much more energized (writing wise) by the novella concept for this book, (now if I can just find something to energize my housework tasks(smile))

      Liked by 1 person

  2. All my Johnny Casino stories are somewhere between a short story and a novella. The same with the new Chance McCoy series. As our buddy, Jackie Vick, has pointed out in her various novellas and you are discovering, those shorter stories fill a void in our writing experience. And readers are turning toward the shorter story as well. So we do find a different direction, but it is still writing. Write on.

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    1. I’ve mentioned before how much I love Johnny Casino, and I’ve read many other novella books I’ve really enjoyed and written my own short stories, but for some reason??? duh, took me awhile to realized what was going on with my latest story. Just happy I’m writing again…

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    1. Oh Freddi, thanks for stopping by and making my day! Always doubtful of the value of any of my posts, but that you got something from my ramblings is wonderful! Thank you so much for your kind words.

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  3. “Writing is writing.” How often we say it, how rarely we truly absorb its meaning. Quality over quantity, for we who write the best words, not the most, wins. Great post, Mad.

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  4. Yes, Jill, just waiting, not agonizing, nor trying to fix was a very different experience for me. (shouldn’t have been, but it was). Also pointed out to me how important my writing friends are to me… Thanks.

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  5. Madeline, I’m so happy that you found a way that works for you. Once I finish the novel I’m working on now, it’s novellas and short stories for me. Or … maybe the novel will evolve into a novella. It’s all good.

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    1. So glad that we two Jackie’s were able to help you out of your slump! Lots of writers are writing novellas or novella-length novels (175-225 pages). People have less time to read even if they really want to pick up a huge tome (not that yours are!) and settle deep into the cushions for a fortnight to read it. I’ve joined that “Read 52 books in 52 weeks in 2020 challenge” and I find myself picking up children’s books to read and fill a category because of so many other commitments! (One was only 24 pages but it fulfilled a slot.)

      And, what can I say.? Look at my own writing, Madeline. It has shrunk to reviews, Facebook posts and blog posts! Now, how is THAT for short shorts? You do what you can with the time and inspiration you have. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to your next literary mystery novella!

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      1. Yes, Jackie, if it weren’t for my fellow wise writing friends, not sure I would have figured out a lot of things! And one of the big things I keep mis-stepping on, is change–which was involved with my “novella” revelation. Your cruise post really energized my brain. Very enjoyable.

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  6. You are so right, Maggie–“It’s all good.” Exactly how I’m feeling right not–writing is good. Period. Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. Glad you found your way back to writing, Madeline. It seems a lot of people I know are having some motivational issues about writing lately. I think sometimes you just have to take it slow and let things happen. And, as in your case, you found the answer by deciding to do a novella.

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  8. Thanks for stopping by, Paul! Sorry to hear some other writers are in the doldrums right now. It is hard to “just wait,” but I’ve found out through this experience, that’s evidently the answer sometimes, and trying to “fix” things just doesn’t work.

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  9. Maddie – I am so glad you finally got over your ‘hump.’ — it’s an awful place to be stuck in. I know: I was there for ages, when the only writing I could get through was this Blog – and even that was painful to get through. What a great idea – a novella. Jackie Vick always has really fresh ideas, doesn’t she? I think I have enough in the Lottie Topaz book I am editing for about 10 novellas…. hey – maybe?…. But welcome back, Maddie. You always make me smile. Thank you…

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    1. Thanks, Rosie! Funny, you make me smile too! And yes, I think Jackie Vick has a very creative mind, and I always enjoy reading her “novellas”(smile) In fact, I get sooooo much information, inspiration, and ideas from my writing friends…I’m so luck.

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