December was a whirlwind month with the holidays and a family reunion in Disneyworld. There’s nothing like trying to corral 22 family members ranging in age from 13 to 74 through one of the world’s happiest places during one of the busiest seasons. Fortunately, my family spends most of our time together laughing; when we aren’t picking on each other, we’re laughing at ourselves, which made for an entertaining week despite the crowds and long lines.
Then January rolled in and with the winter storms and cold winds, life became a little more serious. Deadlines for science fair projects and honors English reports and writing proposals loomed. And as life likes to do, a few unexpected curve balls were tossed in to the mix that couldn’t be simply laughed away. Through it all, I compartmentalized (a skill I’m still trying to master) and pounded at the keyboard in an effort to find the heart of the next book I’m working on. But this story wasn’t cooperating (as my CPs can attest given the trail of text messages and emails and Skype SOS sessions they’ve put up with from me.)
And then last week, after I’d dropped my daughters off at school with their finished science fair projects, I skipped through the radio stations and stopped when I heard Sam Hunt’s new single: Body Like A Backroad, which is a fun, upbeat, sexy country song that currently ranks among my all-time favorites. (I should mention I’m a huge fan of Sam Hunt and his Montevallo album is constantly on replay in our house). After the song finished, Sam Hunt was on air for an interview about his second album. Sam explained that his album was delayed as he’d decided to pursue a new direction and he mentioned that he felt he’d been taking his song writing a bit too seriously. That line stayed with me throughout the day and echoed a little too loudly when I spent the afternoon struggling to get words on the page for my story with the missing heart.
That night I realized I might need to channel a little bit of Sam Hunt. Perhaps my problem with my story was that I’d been taking my own writing a little too seriously. So I visited my keeper shelf and started re-reading my all-time favorite books. And in the process of reliving the stories that made me fall in love with romance, I rediscovered the reasons I wanted to write romances in the first place. With each book I opened, I recalled the plot, the characters and all those nuances I loved about that particular story and I remembered all the reasons why that book sits on my keeper shelf. I’ve laughed and cheered and sighed as I’ve spent time with favorite old friends and relived their journeys. And in the process, I found the joy and fun once again in my own writing and that elusive heart started beating inside my current book. (And my family is thrilled because I’ve slipped that fun into the kitchen with new recipes and as my husband said, he’s getting to reap the culinary rewards.)
It’s fitting that I’ve rediscovered all the reasons I love romance given February is the month to celebrate love. What do you do to rediscover your passion and joy when life becomes a little too serious?
Until next time,
THE CHARM OFFENSIVE by Cari Lynn Webb will be out in July 2017.
You can visit me on Facebook and Twitter.https://twitter.com/carilynnwebb
I'm so glad you found the heart you were looking for in your story. Life is too short to be taken seriously.ReplyDelete
Life is definitely too short, but sometimes you just get sucked in and forget to breath :)Delete
Love this post! I think I've been feeling that way too. In fact, I was complaining to my partner in crime the other day that I miss when I used to write and write and write and think everything was amazing instead of barely writing because of second guessing every word I type. I think not taking things so seriously sounds like a fantastic idea!! Thanks, Cari and Sam. :)ReplyDelete
Amy - I really miss those days too. And second-guessing has become common in my world. Let's tell each other that we're amazing on a daily basis :)Delete
Yes! I so needed to read this!ReplyDelete
Laurie - hope you're doing something fun today :) That should be on the daily agenda - an hour of fun.Delete
I think sometimes you just need a break ... from life, from work, from something irritating you, whatever -- sometimes I find my inner peace in a song, in a book, in a movie ... or sometimes in an activity like a day trip to the beach to just relax and breath. :)ReplyDelete
Lynn - a day trip to the beach is waiting to be put on the calendar. I'm ready to sit in the sand and soak up some sun and listen to the waves... that is one of my favorite peaceful days.Delete
Cari Lynn, I'm glad to read your post and see the responses, too. I've felt there's more tension in the air everywhere this year. We write all the easy stories clamoring to get out of our heads, so subsequent ideas are harder to come by and more difficult to get down and whipped into shape. Maybe you've hit of the solution. Don't take life so seriously. I'm ready to try.ReplyDelete
Roz - we can try together and remind each other to not take it all so seriously :)Delete
Great post, Cari! It's hard to believe we can get overwhelmed by something that when we first started brought us so much joy and excitement. Glad you found your way back. <3ReplyDelete
As others have noted, I'm glad as well that you found the heart of your story and the joy again in writing.ReplyDelete
When life gets a little too serious, all I need to do is watch our pups for a while or--better yet--take them outside for a walk or to play. Invariably, they make me laugh or at least smile.
I look forward to sharing a release day with you in July!
It's hard to sit down and "just read" as a writer. We're always picking things apart, trying to figure out what we loved and hated. But I'm glad you got back to that foundation again--reading for pleasure! I hope your year gets easier. When I'm taking life too seriously, I tend to get myself out of the house. As a writer, I don't leave house half often enough, and fresh air and sunlight does wonders for me. ;)ReplyDelete
Cari, Love this! Thank you. This post is so timely. Anna said it perfectly above. Been going through something similar myself. (Apparently it's a regular thing for me now. Hope not(: Happy you're finding your way again.ReplyDelete
Wonderful post, Cari! This is exactly what I needed to hear. I'm happy you rediscovered the joy and fun of writing...you do it so well. :)ReplyDelete
I listen to my favorite songs, read a good book, or try to get out into the sunshine since that typically uplifts my mood.ReplyDelete
A great post. It's so important that you keep the fun--and the heart--in what you're doing. Laugh on!ReplyDelete