March 15, 2017

How to Write When you’re Frozen Inside

By Pamela S. Thibodeaux

It happens….Life, death, illness or (fill in the blank) and the last thing you want to do, or feel able to do, is anything writing related.

So how do you keep your career as an author from falling into obscurity?

In 2009 my husband passed away and I was forced to deal with these questions. Here’s what I did….

Keep your blog alive. Even if that means mostly guest posts with an occasional personal one thrown in. Your readers care about you so they’ll understand. If you look at my blog, you’ll see that 2012 has the least amount of posts since I started in 2007. Strange since he passed in 2009, right? Not really, sometimes the first year or two after a death, you’re still numb and on automatic pilot.

Continue to Network. Attend writer meetings and/or conferences. You may not be writing again, but networking with your peers always helps alleviate the pain and loneliness of your situation. Your fellow writers understand and care, so they will help and support you.

Continue to market yourself and your existing books, even on a limited basis. This includes keeping your newsletter going or starting one. My newsletter is ‘occasional’ anyway so it was easy to stay in touch with my readers a couple of times after my husband’s death. The love and support shown to me was (and still is) something that kept/keeps me going when I felt/feel like giving up.

Take or Teach a class. Again, you may not be able to do anything with what you learn but you’ll never forget it either and teaching others what you already know can help you stay connected to that part of yourself that feels closed off or shut down.

Journal about your experience. Writing is cathartic and you never know when a nonfiction opportunity will arise and you can share your story to help someone else.

Work on existing projects. This was easy for me because I had so many projects in various stages of completion. Many were actually published between 2009 and 2014. However, I’ve been unable to write and complete something brand new until my novella, Keri’s Christmas Wish, which debuted Dec. 2015.

Work in the Industry. Look for opportunities to edit or market other writers. Many small publishers and/or promotion companies will utilize freelancers. Offer to write a magazine column or find places to submit your old articles, essays, etc. Any of these options keep your name in front of people. In 2011 I helped create an Ezine, The Wordsmith Journal. In 2012 I bought and continued the publication until 2013 when I sold it, but even then, I continued to work with TWJ Magazine until the end of 2016.

These are a few ways in which I kept my writing career going even though, with the exception of a couple of nonfiction pieces, I wasn’t really writing. I’d love to hear how you managed to get through a tough situation / life crisis and keep your career somewhat afloat.

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Links: Website address:   Blog:  Face Book: Twitter: @psthib  Pinterest:  Amazon Author Page:  BookBub:

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