As I hinted in my last post, there are times in a writer’s life when the words don’t come easily. The months during which I wrote The Dragon’s Hunt, beginning in November 2016, were some of the worst. When I finished Hunt, I assumed I was over that hurdle, that slogging through mental mud for words. But the next book in the Sisters in Sin series is proving to be just as difficult to write.
But as I said before, writer’s write, regardless of whether the words come easily and regardless of what’s going on in the world around them—and sometimes they write because it’s the only thing they can do.
After my first and second novels got rejection after rejection, I spent eight years in a creative depression, writing nothing. Well, not exactly nothing; I revised both books incessantly. And that did finally come to something with my first break in publishing with my novella The Devil’s Garden; and later, one of my endlessly revised novels was published as the Looking Glass Gods trilogy. But those breaks didn't come until I’d finally written something new. And those years of not creating anything felt like not being truly alive.
It’s the main reason I keep going even when I’m not feeling it. Like Buffy Summers sang in Once More With Feeling, sometimes going through the motions is all you can do, with the hope that you’ll feel alive again at some point and regain that sense of wonder that makes you create in the first place.
On Saturday, I was lucky enough to see someone else’s wonderful creation: the new Wonder Woman movie. There were a lot of moments in this fantastic movie that reminded me how important even the smallest acts of resistance are in a dark world. As Steve Trevor said when Diana asked him why he was bothering to do his small part to end the war, “You can do nothing, or you can do something. I tried doing nothing.” Me too, Steve Trevor. Me too. There’s one particular moment later in the film when Diana takes that advice to heart and makes an effort against the darkness that seems impossible, and that impossible effort inspires everyone around her to do the same.
So we do what we can do, even if it may not change the world, and my little bit of something, my act of resistance—against my own darkness and the darkness in the world—is writing about love…and occasionally about punching Nazis.
Writing romance can be a revolutionary act, believing in love and hope when they seem almost impossible. As Diana discovers in Wonder Woman, “only love can truly save the world.” And I am still on the side of love.