When Words Won’t Come

I began July with huge writing goals. It’s Camp NaNoWriMo again, and I’m working on a short story that will be part of an anthology with my friends from my writing group. It’s a silly adventure sci-fi piece, and I’ve had a blast working on it.

I did everything right leading up to this month. I loosely plotted my story. I planned my month, mapping out time for writing alongside my volunteer time with the animal shelter and my full-time job. I even gave myself room to increase my activity with my Mary Kay business. Since my story has a 15,000 word target, I knew I could reach it easily with the right amount of planning.

The month started out as busy as expected, leading up to the holiday. I didn’t write at all through the first few days. Part of this had been scheduled, but then I got sick on the 3rd. I had a terrible cough and a fever, and was sick throughout the holiday weekend. Somehow, I still managed to start writing my short story.

I was in love. For the first time I can remember, I made myself laugh out loud. I’ve never really written comedy before, so this has been a huge stretch. I adored every one of the first 421 words I wrote last Monday. I know it will need polishing, but I can’t remember ever being so excited about a first draft before.

Then my husband caught my bug. What was bad for me became far worse for him. We spent all Wednesday night in the emergency room, and learned that Josh had severe bronchitis with moderate pneumonia. But they sent us home since he responded well to medicine, and he had to follow-up with his regular doctor the next day. That’s when things really went south.

An unrelated issue was noticed in my husband’s appointment, and the word everyone dreads hearing was spoken: cancer. We don’t know anything yet. It might be nothing. But once you hear that word, all others leave your mind. Our next steps involve a lot of waiting. Another week until an ultrasound, which will likely be followed up with more scans, more blood work, and possibly a biopsy. It could be as much as a month before we know anything for certain.

So here I am. I love my story, but when all I can hear is my mind screaming one word over and over again, it’s difficult to will the other words to come. I’m sure I need some comic relief, but I’m not feeling in a place to provide it to myself. I don’t want to give up on this story, but neither do I know how I can keep writing it right now. So I’ve made a deal with myself. I will still keep my appointments with myself, keep showing up in front of my computer, butt in chair. If I need to, I will spend the whole allotted time staring at the page, not writing. But I will at least be there, be present. So far, it hasn’t amounted to much in the way of words, but every bit helps.

I am a writer. I’ll keep showing up to write, even when the words won’t come.


Here are my #WriteMotivation goals for July:

1. Camp NaNoWriMo project: my semi-secret F.B.K. project for my writing group’s anthology. Short story, adventure/sci-fi, 15k words

2. FINALLY finish my focus outline for my PQ revision

3. Attend write-ins with my group at least once per week

4. Check in daily with my Camp cabin to cheer on my fellow FBK writers

5. Log 20 hours of PQ revision (focus on plot/subplots and characters)

6. Post weekly on my blog and reply to all comments within 24 hours. (Obviously this hasn’t happened yet.)

7. Check #WriteMotivation on Twitter at least 3x a week, and check all WriteMotivation blogs at least once to stay in touch with and cheer on my fellow writers (because you rock!)



Filed under NaNoWriMo, Writing

10 responses to “When Words Won’t Come

  1. Great blog entry, Amy. This is my first time trying NaNoWriMo and I am having a blast. It was JUST what I needed to kick my sorry butt into high gear.

  2. Oh my gosh, that’s a horrible thing to go through. Lots of hugs and positive energy coming your way, and hopefully you’ll find the words soon ā¤

  3. I’m so sorry, Amy. If I was you, I wouldn’t worry about the writing right now. I’d concentrate on your husband. But it’s up to you. Kudos for what you’ve gotten done! That’s a hell of an achievement, seeing what you’ve been through!

    • Thanks! I’m committed to writing my story, since it’s a group project. That said, my whole group knows everything that’s been happening. They’ve been so encouraging through everything. I’m so grateful to have so many awesome writers in my life! šŸ™‚

  4. *hugs you so tight*
    I completely understand when the words don’t come. That happens to me a lot. One thing you could do, when you keep your appointments with yourself and you can’t seem to find the words to write your story…maybe you could write your feelings. I went through this “phase” we’ll call it, and had to just write my feelings. I did so one my Caring For A Veteran blog. But here’s an exercise you can do if you’re willing:


    Don’t worry too much about your goals. We will be here for you no matter what, cheering you on in life and writing! ā¤

    Sending you loads of love and prayers and positive energy!

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    Caring for My Veteran
    Be Positive in Life and Writing

    • Thanks again, Jamie. I so appreciate your positivity and support. And I have been journaling some, and definitely spending extra time snuggling my dogs. šŸ™‚ Tonight I’m just relaxing and spending way too much time on Twitter.

  5. I’ve been going through a similar situation– feels good to know I’m not alone.

  6. Sorry you’re having such a rough time, and kudos for showing up to write, even when it’s difficult. Positive thoughts for you and your husband. I hope it all works out and you’ll find your writing stride again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s