InsecureWritersSupportGroup

It’s time for another meeting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The first Wednesday of each month, we share struggles, triumphs, quandaries, and fears.

I set a lowball goal of 15K for July Camp NaNo, and overachieved (as it were). This is far from what I was capable of pre-lockdown, but after failing JuNoWriMo with only 18K, this has restored my self-confidence somewhat. Most of my wordcount came from creative nonfiction in the form of blog posts instead of my actual WIP, but since most of them were Dante-themed, they’re related to my WIP.

If you’re interested, I now have all my Dantean posts linked in one page. You can find it on my pinned page “Index of posts by topic” above my header.

Somewhat over 5,000 words also came from the two essays I wrote as part of my aliyah (moving to Israel) application, about my journey to Judaism and my involvement in the community since becoming a member of the tribe. The process of writing and editing those documents made me revisit feelings and experiences I’d not had reason to think of in many years. These weren’t just brief letters, but mini-memoirs with a great deal of raw emotion, honesty, and self-reflection.

This wasn’t the strongest finish possible, and not the relatively straight line I used to have, but I did lose a lot of writing time watching the Olympics. I also spent some time doing my penultimate proof check of the book formerly known as The Very Next. Hopefully, I won’t find even tiny errors in the about to begin final check.

In addition to slowly starting to regain my writing mojo, I’m also getting back into my art. That was on complete hiatus during lockdown. So many people are unwilling or unable to understand how this hurt mental and emotional health. I’ll always have cyclical depression, and it’s functional even at its worst, but it only lasted so long and was triggered this latest time because of lockdown.

When my mental and emotional states are askew, my writing suffers. It took a really long time, but finally I’ve been given a hand out of the latest dark forest I found myself in, with the right path lost. “I cannot remember well in my mind/How I came thither, so was I immersed/In sleep, when the true way I left behind.”

To mark my return to art, I ordered a bunch of new pencils—a dozen Faber–Castell Polychromos, two Caran d’Ache Luminance (widely said to be the Rolls-Royce of colored pencils), six Coloursoft, and three Inktense. I ought to do an updated post showcasing my art supply collection.

There’s no question these precious objects will be divided among my checked and carryon luggage when I make aliyah. If I can’t find an approved suitcase big enough for my beautiful oil pastels, I’ll take them out of their big wooden case and put them in smaller travel cases. Their list price is $510, and I got them for around $200 in a huge end-of-year sale. No way I’d leave them behind!

Geometric and abstract art are my callings in drawing and painting, just as historical fiction and soft sci-fi are my callings in writing. It can be fun to dabble and try something new, but there will always be that one thing, or those two or three things, which you feel the most natural passion and draw towards. I doubt any writer could be successful in and feel a genuine connection to 10+ genres.

Another huge boost to my shattered self-confidence in July was finishing my memorization of Canto I of Inferno in the original Medieval Florentine Tuscan (136 lines). I’m going to make a video of myself reciting it on Dante’s 700th Jahrzeit (death anniversary) on 13 September. While I’ve begun working my way through Canto II, there’s no way I can have all 142 lines ready in such short time!

I’ve always had an elephantine memory and been good with languages, but I still am in awe I really managed to not only memorize such a long piece, but in another language.

How has your writing been going? Did you do Camp NaNo? Have you ever lost your writing mojo and struggled to regain it?

7 thoughts on “IWSG—Writing mojo slowly returning

  1. Wow so fascinating Carrie Anne! I’m so interested in your journey to Israel, and Judaism. I’ve always wanted to visit Israel, and hope to some day soon. I love that you find inspiration in art. It’s helped me so much over the years. Working with my hands helps me nourish the creativity so there’s more focus on writing when I get to. I look forward to hearing about your move!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Carrie-Anne! How exciting that you are planning to move to Israel! Congratulations on memorizing Canto I of Inferno in Medieval Florentine Tuscan! I dearly love Florence and Italy. That’s where I’d be tempted to move. I’m glad to hear that you are finding your way out of the dark forest. I know that path too well. I love your geometric art. Happy creating!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Writing mojo is hard to get, easy to lose, and the devil to get back! Glad you’re on your way.

    Thanks for this LOL moment in your post: “…my penultimate proof check of the book formerly known as The Very Next.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I relate to your mojo pain so much! I have not written any new fiction in over a year and that which I did write was drek. The last good fiction I wrote was before lockdown. My well dried up because of my publisher closing, a bunch of personal stress, and the daunting thought of having to republish all of my books and courses I had through my publisher. I hit burnout so hard and just walked away from it all for almost a year. Lockdown and lack of work put me on the path to republishing all my work but I think that has me so daunted that I’m not able to write fiction. Slowly but surely I hope to get back to it.

    Liked by 1 person

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