To set the scene, if you will, I had come to the realization that my story, "In the Company of Devils," needed to go in a completely different direction. The basic premise was to remain the same (essentially, a man who gets to learn more about the world around him than he ever wished to know), but the nature of the trouble my main protagonist, Roy Stephens, gets into needed to a complete rethink.
And then, last year, and just as I got started on the research, a good friend of mine passed away. That's not the entire story, but for the sake of his family, I will leave it at that. The point is, after this happened, I had a good deal of difficulty motivating myself. I bought books I needed for my research, but didn't read them. I watched documentaries, but didn't take notes. I even wrote a scene or two. As a writer, I was functioning, but not very efficiently.
As happens when you break a habit, I lost my routines, the routines that kept me at my desk. Still, I started to write again. No more 5,000 word marathon sessions, but instead, 500 words here, 700 words there. Then, earlier this year, my cousin and good friend, a man with whom I spent a large part of my childhood, died in a car accident.
The effects were much different this time. I would sit and stare at the blank page for twenty or thirty minutes and give up. And when I did manage to start writing again, it came out stilted and flat. I couldn't get my rhythm. It was like my muse had gotten drunk and was just throwing out semi-random words. They were related to my story, but they weren't in any coherent order.
Which leads us to today. Today my story has found its new direction. My basic outline is done. Scenes are coming to me again. Still not at my old speed, but in fair time nonetheless. I haven't gotten my old routines back, but I'm working on it. And the best part is, it's starting to be fun again.
Keep on doing what you love, my friends.
William K Elliott