Working while you are this sick blows. There is a new faculty workshop tonight that only I can lead (as our administrative staff in ELA is exactly one), so here I am.

Today’s writer topic is something that a lot of newly published writers think about, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about as I’ve been splitting my time between rebooting my creativity and/or being high. Maybe Edgar Allen Poe had it right. Those two things compliment each other in lots of ways.

I’ve been surrounding myself with more than tea and cats. Over the last two days, I’ve devoured half of Scott Westerfield’s Uglies series, and the middle book of Megan Whalen Turner’s thief series. Nice, angsty, character driven books, even though they are very different.

I’ve been viewing the relatively recent Little Dorrit from BBC. I saw Avatar, which also turned out to be more character driven than I would have expected.

In each endeavor, I find myself thinking that’s where I want my characters to be. I want to be inside those characters, deep. I’m drawn to writing about history and folklore. I like the Edward Gorey kind of vibe. I’m happiest in angsty heroics and historical drama.

Which means I understand now what I’m not doing, and what I want to be doing.

Now, I need the plan. The day job isn’t going away. If anything, it’s becoming more intense, alas. I need to find a good way to write the kinds of things I want, and to stop feeling like my writing is an odd/end that I plan around the rest of my life.

For me, it’s not that I’m not writing. It’s that I come to writing tired and used up. I think what I need to do is find a way to save energy for my writing.

How do you all do it? I’d love to hear how I could do it, because I find I’m enthused about the writing now that I’ve let myself think about it. It’s the energy level I’m finding trouble with.

And yes, the steriods do end in three days, so drugs are not an option. What do you do to stay upbeat about your writing overall, especially if you work? Because I know some of you work. And go to school. And have kids. And even more obligations than me.

And you still write. So, how?

ETA: Carrie Ryan addresses this very topic! Thank you!


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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