Getting Un-Lost

Blogs are supposed to be light and easy reading. Too long (a horrible fault of mine) or too serious and bam! we move on to the next. However, this is an acknowledgement of a half a year’s struggle with writer’s block, and I hope at least one person can pull something from my story.

Writer’s Block is something we writers dread. But most will admit that they’ve suffered through it from time to time. It’s not just losing the ability to write words that work. It’s like losing a loved one, your hands, part of your brain. Part of your soul.

But when you break through it, it’s like learning to live (and breathe, even) all over again.

Last October, life was as lovely as the Mohawk Valley in autumn. My professional path was as colorful as the mountains I live in, and as comfortable as post-summer temperatures. Things were happening at a cool 70 F, there was little rain in the forecast, and we still had a few weeks before frost hit.

But winter came early for me, with news of a private nature that threw me off the path I’d been blazing. I got lost in a forest of muddy, mucky memories. And rather than stay on the path and find my way home, I hid in a cave as the early snows piled high around me.

The ink in my pen ran dry, or for a more contemporary analogy – the keys on my keyboard got stuck. Either way, my overwhelmed brain shut down. I couldn’t write a simple sentence, let alone a love scene.

Then, just as the snows began to melt enough for me to venture out into the woods to try to find that trail I’d wandered away from . . . the pandemic hit.

And over the edge I went, down the side of a mountain I did not have the proper hiking equipment to navigate.

But the elements were kinder. The days were warmer, the sun grew stronger, and hope twittered around me like chipmunks finding a misplaced cache of nuts.

With the change in season, I reached into my backpack and pulled out everything I needed; things I’d had all along, but in my frozen state of fear I had forgotten.

Close friends, family, my chosen family, CNYRW, my critique partners, my Grey’s Groupies all threw me lifelines, flashlights, new hiking boots. Everything that would prove helpful in finding that path, which was really only a few feet in front of me all along.

So, to everyone who was there for me, who watched on in patience, with love and compassion, who cheered me up and cheered me on, who believed in me. Who gave me hope . . .

Thank you.