In a perfect world, I’d begin my writing day after eight hours of sleep, a large cup of my favorite coffee, a clear idea of my story, a perfect outline, and all day to write.
It’s not a perfect world. But you knew that already. The overwhelming reason why my perfect writing day went out the window (or down the toilet) had everything to do with being sick.
It’s been a difficult season here in the Northeast. One day you’re romping around in the park in 70 degree weather and the next you’re plodding through your driveway in fourteen inches of snow!
I did everything right. I got my flu shot. I kept myself hydrated. I got seven to eight hours of sleep every night. I ate right and exercised. Then how did I get sick! Not only did I get sick, but it hit me the day after my daughter came home from the hospital with her new baby.
Here is our new Caylee Eva. I was quarantined for a week while I got over the brunt of my cold and finished my antibiotics.
Okay, so I shamelessly got a picture of my new granddaughter into this post. I digress.
Book blogs and seminars on writing stress that writing every day is key to sharpening your craft. It’s the old joke, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.
But every day you don’t write your writing skills dull. It seems that writing dulls faster than it sharpens. After a week of not writing I knew I would have to work harder to get back into gear.
My cold had settled in my chest. Bouts of coughing and wheezing kept me up at night. Our new cold water humidifier helped some, but not enough. Cold medicines, cough medicine and even an inhaler got the symptoms under control by mid-week, but the rust was settling on my writing gears.
I was still tired, congested and chugging bottles of cough medicine but I made a large cup of tea with honey and lemon then sat down to write. So here is my list of 5 things that helped me along.
After a few days of not writing I found I was not close to the story. I read to get back into my character’s head. In truth, after I finish the first draft I usually step away from the story for a few days to get that distance. That way when I edit the story it’s with a fresh eye.
I do this with all my projects, but after a few days of not touching the work it was the perfect time to update my outline and again, get back into the story. I use bullet points to note what generally happens in the chapter, identify the point-of-view character, and note in red anything that is missing. This gives me a quick view of what needs to be done.
Now, I’m ready to write. Depending on my energy level (and this time it was really low) I decided to add in those pieces that I identified as missing and removed them from the outline. Later in the week, when I felt better I was ready to move the story forward. I found that I tired easily and wrote in short spurts, but several short spurts were better than none.
#4 WORD COUNT
I keep my daily project word count on an Excel spreadsheet. I have a daily word count target and try to reach it. This is similar to having a deadline and surprisingly, I enjoy working toward the deadline. Last month, my local RWA chapter had its own writing challenge for the month, 30K words. I used my spreadsheet and was excited as I reached the goal.
Sometimes, no matter how much you plan or how diligent you are, your body tells you to stop. Another indicator is falling asleep at your desk. That’s not a pretty sight. Look. When you’re really sick, you need to put your work, as much as you love it, aside and let your body heal.
One other thing you can do while you’re sick, journal. Think of it as research for a story that has a sick character. Write down how you feel, record how others respond around you, and dream. Your body may be defeated but your mind is fine. Dream out your story and when you’re ready to write it will be there.
Title: Knight of Rapture
Author: Ruth A. Casie
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Time Travel, Medieval
He crossed the centuries to find her…
For months Lord Arik has been trying to find the right combination of runes to create the precise spell to rescue his wife, Rebeka, but the druid knight will soon discover that reaching her four hundred years in the future is only the beginning of his quest. He arrives in the 21st century to find her memory of him erased, his legacy on the brink of destruction, and traces of dark magick at every turn.
A threat has followed…
Bran, the dark druid, is more determined than ever to get his revenge. His evil has spread across the centuries. Arik will lose all. Time is his weapon, and he’s made sure his plan leaves no one dear to Arik, in past or present, safe from the destruction.
But their enemy has overlooked the strongest magick of all…
Professor Rebeka Tyler is dealing with more than just a faulty memory. Ownership of Fayne Manor, her home, has been called into question. Convenient accidents begin happening putting those she cares for in the line of fire. And then there’s the unexpected arrival of a strange man dressed like he belonged in a medieval fair—a man who somehow is always around when needed, and always on her mind. She doesn’t know who to trust. But one thing is certain. Her family line and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall, not on her watch… in any century.
Unsure, she touched the shield again. It was still. The scream, she was certain it caused the tremor. She searched Arik’s face. He wasn’t aware of it. The beat echoing in her head was almost a steady tone. Fear twisted around her heart. His blood stained the barrier. She was certain he would die if he kept this pace. She couldn’t wait.
She gathered her strength and with lightning speed built the chant inside her. When she couldn’t hold it back any longer she let it loose in a grief-stricken scream.
Everything stopped. The wind. His pounding.
They stood facing each other.
“No, Beka. No,” he screamed his arms spread out across the barrier. She watched the glazed look of despair spread across his face.
A small portion of the shield fractured, then another, and another. The tiny explosions gathered momentum until they built into a frenzy and every inch of the shield was cracked.
She hesitated but at last placed her hand on the shield. Arik did the same. Their hands separated by the splintered magick. The fractured shield trembled, small pieces tumbled around them. For a brief moment their hands touched and she felt his warmth and love.
A great force pulled them apart as if they were puppets at the will of a puppeteer. They struggled to their feet and ran to each other but before they could get to the opening the portal snapped closed and vanished.
His roar echoed through the mountains. “I will find you.”
“I love you,” she sobbed as the portal took her away.
Away from him.
RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. The Guardian’s Witch, part of the Stelton Legacy series was a Reader’s Crown Finalist. Ruth also writes contemporary romance in the Havenport series with enough action to keep you turning pages. Ruth lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she started writing time travel romance, she was a speech therapist, international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing time travel romance. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.
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