Friday, July 15, 2016


Posted by: Joely Sue Burkhart
I have this problem of mixing up words sometimes when I'm writing.  It's like my fingers type the wrong word, even though my brain knows exactly the word I wanted to use.  The problem is that when I re-read the sentence, it might take two or three (or more!) times before I actually SEE the incorrect word.  It's not a typo or simple misuse of a word because I don't know the definition - it's literally the wrong word with a completely different meaning but I don't see it.

I've noticed a bit of a pattern lately and I'm about to get deep.  *woo woo music plays softly in the background*

Two of the words I catch myself mistyping are INVINCIBLE and INVISIBLE.  Yes, I've double and triple checked that I actually did type two different words there.  Making them all caps helps me be sure I used the ones I meant to use!  Several times in this writing journey since 1993, I've caught myself using invisible when I really wanted and meant to use invincible.  I don't know why. I thought it was kind of funny and brushed it off.

But I did it again this week and it made me think.  Is there some deep subconscious thing going on here?

Twice now in this writing journey, I've caught myself fantasizing about just walking away from my blog, website, and pen name all together.  A few years ago, my finger literally hovered over the mouse which was positioned to delete my entire blog (which is really my website - I host the whole thing on Wordpress).  I just wanted to leave it all behind.  Be invisible for awhile.

I've been feeling the same way this past month.  Other than Twitter and my assistant posting some on Facebook for me, I've felt pretty invisible online as Joely Sue Burkhart.  Sometimes the publishing biz does that to authors and I'm sure other artistic industries can do the same thing.  It's like all the business and marketing and branding and profit/loss calculations absolutely kills the creative side.  I certainly am feeling the opposite of invincible.

Once upon a time, I'd blog almost every day.  At least weekly for sure.  Now, I'm like, oh, man I haven't even thought about looking at my website.  I don't have any scheduled releases as this time.  My last release was in Feb, so it's not like I have brand new reviews to share, or any news.  It's a hard time for me businessly (is that a word?) right now.  I've had two blows this year and one still ongoing that I'm not sure how they'll resolve.  IF they'll resolve.  How I'll come out of it. And it's the worst feeling in the world because I have no control over what happens.  All I can control is the words on the page.

And I don't have any.

The last thing I want to do is write, or blog, or come up with some clever or interesting topic to share.

It's not burn out exactly - I've tasted that before.  It's more ennui with the overall business.  Dissatisfaction of where I am and unsure how to pull myself out.  I have tons of ideas.  TONS.   I've written down at least two ideas this week that are brand new.  But opening up Scrivener or Word and crafting narrative... was beyond my mental capacity.

I just didn't have the desire.  I wanted to hide from the world AND my muse (Gregar, pictured in the Road to Shanhasson cover, can be viciously brutal when he wants to be).  I wanted to be invisible.

Have you ever been in that kind of a funk?  If so, what did you do to get out of it?  How did you stop letting yourself be invisible and step back into the fight?

For me, what helped (somewhat) was switching to writing by hand.  Not words, exactly - just thoughts and ideas, character notes and sketches, worldbuilding.  I bought some small notebooks from May Designs and just started writing.  Different colored inks.  Sometimes pencil.  No rules.  One story idea bleeds to the next depending on my mood.  I just needed to connect with words again and feel the paper in my hands.  See the colors.  And start to listen for Gregar's sly whisper again.

I'm not wholly back - but I have written 1K two nights in a row.  Usually late, just as in the good old days when it was just me and Gregar flying down the road long after everyone else is asleep, oblivious to the sleek car soaring off into the night.

That was a good kind of invisible... and writing in the zone like that, I certainly felt invincible too.


  1. You're not alone in feeling this way, Joely Sue. I certainly have thought about it, and I've seen more and more of my author friends sharing the same sentiments lately. Kind of makes me think there's something in the water. Heh. Hang in there. I, for one, enjoy reading your stories and would hate to not get any new ones eventually.

  2. Oh yeah. There's only so much coffee can do and sometimes we get tired. So tired. But doing what we can do and recognising (even celebrating!) small achievements helps. Gradually the wheels start turning again -- although, sometimes they turn down a different path!

  3. I felt like walking away last year. It's not getting easier to be an author.

  4. Raising hand. Right there with you. And I miss it. I just don't know how to get it back.

  5. I'm glad I'm not alone - but also sad, because I want to love it again! Hugs and thanks to you all. Just keep swimming.


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