Please welcome ELIZABETH FOUNTAIN, an author whose sense of sci-fi humor is a real treat:
In my town, October brought a stretch of perfect autumn weather: long sunny afternoons, cool crisp nights. The leaves turned gorgeous shades of red, gold, and auburn, and covered walkways with crispy piles. Perfect weather for long walks to stretch muscles stiff from sitting in front of a computer all day. Except for one thing.
The gnats. Starting about two hours before sundown, blue gnat swarms built under trees, over shrubs, along sidewalks. How do I know the gnats were blue? Because after a walk, I'd shake dozens of them off my sweater, hair, scarf, anything they could cling to. Breathing, talking - anything that required an open mouth – became downright unwise.
It started me thinking about the blue gnat swarms that can attack during the writing process - or any creative work. You know how it is: you're cruising along writing your thousand words a day, loving your work, basking in it like our fall sunshine, then BAM! You're swatting and snorting out gnats of fear, insecurity, envy, procrastination, and did I mention fear?
So you can close the door on that beautiful day to hide from the gnats, or you can figure out ways to keep them at bay until they naturally subside again. I've discovered a few tricks that serve as gnat netting. This is one of them: reflecting on the creative process, sharing my thoughts with others. Reading my favorite authors is another; losing myself in a great story, drinking in the inspiration in provides.
National Novel Writing Month, which I'm participating in for the fourth time this November, is the equivalent of plunging unprotected into the gnat swarms: fifty thousand words in thirty days, damn the gnats, full speed ahead! Sure, you've got to shake hordes of them out of your prose come December first, but it's awfully fun while you're at it.
Whatever you do to keep the gnats at bay, or to storm your way through them, just don't let them prevent you from venturing into the sunshine and beautiful colors of your own creative process. Come cooler weather, they'll go away on their own, you'll have good work to show for your perseverance, and you’ll be ready to face the random ice patches of winter.
|An-Aliens-Guide-World-Domination by Elizabeth Fountain|
Author bio:Elizabeth Fountain left a demanding job as a university administrator in Seattle to move to the small town of Ellensburg, Washington, and pursue her dream of writing novels. Her first book, An Alien’s Guide to World Domination, was released by BURST Books in 2013; and You, Jane, her second novel, will be published in 2014. On her breaks from writing, Liz teaches university courses, gives workshops on writing, spends time with family and friends, and takes long walks in the diabolical Kittitas Valley wind. Her quirkily humorous view of humanity is well-suited to tales of aliens and angels, love and death, friendship and dogs.