Where Do I Go From Here or Do I Blame Covid?

By Cynthia C. Naden  (writing as Claire Naden)

Small Cynthia Period Images #3As I sit at my computer and think back to 2014, I recall how devastating it was to me when I was forced into early retirement. But on the flip side, I looked forward to writing full time.

My first book, Cache in the Stacks, was loosely based on my personal experience of receiving a threatening phone call in the middle of the night. I used that as the premise for Cache, and my writing took off. When I discovered a historical twist that fit into my plot, I asked myself, “Why not write historical fiction?” which I love to read and always wanted to write.

I had an idea and began to develop my characters, settings, timeline, and plot twists. I wrote snippets starting in 2016 and revised my title but kept my characters and the basic premise intact. I wasn’t sure what subgenre it fell into, having started it as a historical romance, and it morphed into a murder mystery taking place during World War II.

In the meantime, I had an idea for a woman’s fiction that would start in my hometown of Pasadena, California, and move quickly to Kauai. Coincidentally, my husband and I planned a trip for our anniversary to Kauai, and I found the perfect opportunity to research my new novel. I gathered information and made contacts on the island, hoping that I would be able to have a book launch at a bookstore on the Garden Island in the future. I couldn’t believe how fast I wrote this book. It was published in December 2019.

I was happy to publish a book a year, but my historical fiction still sat with a few words written here and there. I knew where I wanted to go with it but didn’t know how to get there. To say I was stumped would be an understatement.

Then Covid hit, and my plans to launch my woman’s fiction were put on hold. Covid put me into a state of depression, and I lost my ambition to write. Thankfully, my critique group’s twice-monthly Zoom meetings kept me accountable. I started writing sequels to my first two books. But my historical sat in a holding pattern. It wasn’t that I didn’t think about it but I couldn’t put the “pedal to the metal” and take off with it.

I ask myself do I stay where I am where it’s comfy or move forward with my historical fiction? How can I pull myself up from the utter pits of despair I have felt for the past year?  I don’t think so. My word for 2021 is persevere, and this is what I plan to do: sit down, pull up my manuscript on the computer and write what I dearly love: stories set during World War II, which satisfy my desire to write historical mysteries. Covid may still be here, but I refuse to let it impede my writing. I will persevere!

More about Cynthia, her books, and a review of Cache Under the Stacks

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8 thoughts on “Where Do I Go From Here or Do I Blame Covid?”

  1. Good for you, Cynthia! You go girl. Don’t let this virus or the stay-at-home nonsense get you down. It’s what writers do – stay at home and write! Drink coffee and pet their faithful dogs and write! We know you can do it, and I’m looking forward to that first story set in World War II Hawaii.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Always fascinating to read about one’s writing life and yours, Cynthia, is one of perseverance and determination. I am sure these qualities will produce your next book which ever direction you take.Thank you for sharing..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cynthia, I can definitely relate. Sometimes I tell myself “Just fifteen minutes.” Sometimes that turns into many more minutes, sometimes not … but 15 is greater than 0! I look forward to your finished masterpiece.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Write, write, write…it’s my mantra that I constantly ignore. Especially when down. I like Maggie’s suggestion of just 15 minutes. In the past I’ve done a certain word count a day 1000, 500, now it’s down to 200, but the time goal might be better. Your novel will get finished, I know it will, but you are a “writer” which, sadly to say, also means to agonize (smile). You are not alone, if that’s any comfort or encouragement.

    Apropos post for many!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Persevere is a terrific way to accomplish your goal. And the fact you have a sub-genre that excites you will help as you settle down to do that writing. This covid thing has put a crimp in everybody’s life, but we will soldier on. Hang in there.

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  6. Do it! Persevere! It can help us keep going in these difficult times. And give everything that excites you a try. That’s one good reason to be a writer!

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  7. Many of us can relate to your post as we’ve struggled to write at a time when we struggled, period. As many have already said, it comes down to perseverance. Easier said than done, of course.
    Keep at it, Cynthia. You’ll get there.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. As everyone else here has said: PERSEVERE! We’ve all been there. Take the “15 minutes” a day or the “200 words a day” path. Try whichever works. I know. I have had a million highly, seriously, valid reasons for not writing in recent years. And I hate myself whenever that depressing cloud wins over my time-commitment. But whatever you have done or not done in that past, NOW is a new start. You’ll get there. Go for it!

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