Sher here with a post from Lauri Corkum, a longtime SCBWI critique group member and recent blog partner who I thought had disappeared this spring. Turns out she had a perfect storm. But she couldn’t post it here. I forgot that I had Alex move my IWSG link to WordPress, and I just added Lauri as a contributor–too late for her to learn. So I copied her post from Blogger. Wherever you read it, we want to thank Alex J. Cavanaugh, founder of the IWSG site. You can sign up here. Or click the badge below. Then please read about Lauri’s perfect storm. Maybe you can relate.
I think it’s safe to say that we, as writers, are a pattern driven, superstitious bunch. The conditions have to be just right—it’s almost like the planets have to align before we can put words on paper. Okay… perhaps that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But truthfully, at times, our routines border on the bizarre. So, what happens to our writing day when everything goes spectacularly wrong?
I had one such day… well; actually, it was a day that turned into a week (plus). I live in Florida. The Sunshine State. NOT! We have more storms, more lightning strikes per capita than any other state. One poorly directed bolt hit my house, frying an entire circuit breaker and, more importantly, the power to my office and my cable internet. I spent hours on the phone with the cable company, but the issue was frustratingly persistent. Apparently, the lightning strike had done substantial damage and I was going to be “unplugged” until a service technician could make a house call. Six days later, he arrived and thought he fixed the problem. However, he neglected to check my internet fully, and the router was not functioning. It was a casualty of the storm as well.
So, a few days later, I ran to Best Buy to get a new router. I hooked it up all on my own, running an extension cord from the living room into my office as that room was still without power (courtesy of the storm and I had yet to get an electrician out to fix the blown circuit). Now, I bet you’re thinking that the stress involved in dealing with this mess totally stifled any creativity I had. But, a strange thing happened. While I was “unplugged”, my characters started talking to me. And lo and behold, entire conversations, fleshed out scenes, and intricate plot twists started flowing out of me and onto the page of my notebook. Yes, I put pen to paper the old fashioned way.
Being stressed, frustrated, and technologically free actually helped my creativity in ways I never would have expected. My novel veered off in a surprising direction, and I was more productive during the chaos than I was amid my carefully constructed routines. Live and learn, fellow writers. Trust me… you don’t need lightning to strike before, well… before lightning strikes. You know what I mean! Happy writing!
Sher again. I guess it’s not just me. I do better staying on task while we’re on the road with hubby driving and no internet around. Have you ever had lighting strike as ideas because technology failed?
Oh, speaking of technology, if you know a good WordPress designer who makes responsive websites, please tell me. As you can see, I haven’t solved the hard-to-read-text problem.