Operations, especially abdominal, tend to knock the body for six. I know mine did when I had two, one op following the other within a month, over Christmas 2013. Apart from the effects of anaesthetic and painkillers, I was so weak I could do very little at any given time. As for writing, forget it. I could barely string two words together.
However, as my body recovered over time, the writing itch started up. The actual writing didn’t come readily. I was invited to produce a short story for a Regency anthology on the theme of a chocolate house. It took me weeks. I managed a few hundred words at a time, if that, and they were painstaking. Truly, I thought I’d lost my writing mojo for good.
Next came an invitation to put one of my books into a Regency anthology with four other British authors, all known to me. I already had a book I could use, so no problem. We planned a Christmas anthology, but it did so well, we went for a summer one.
I didn’t have a Christmas themed book, and it had to be ready by end August. Whoops! What to do? Better write one. Crazy or what? I already had an idea for a series, so this was a chance to get going.
There were times I thought I’d have to give up meeting the deadline. It was hard going. Easier than the earlier short story, but still a struggle. But I persevered and it started to ease up. The joke came when I started a detox and had to spend hours in a sauna. With the deadline days away, it was do or die.
Picture me sitting in the sauna, pen and pad in hand, scribbling away while the sweat dripped off me onto the paper. But, miracle of miracles, I did finish, and had written 50,000 words. 30,000 short of my old norm. But His Lordship's Christmas Bride was done and it felt good.
Looming on the horizon was the Valentine anthology. Had to be in by end December. Could I do it? I had commitments in the day, so I tried an experiment. Why not write early in the morning after I’d had my tea? To my astonishment, the experiment rapidly turned into a habit. I was getting down anything from 500-1500 words in a couple of hours and had the rest of the day for promotions and “life”.
By beginning of December I had the second book down at 60,000 words. Without wasting a day, I started on book four. I even wrote on Christmas and Boxing Day – a first for me.
My mojo was up and running. Come the beginning of February, I was finished with that book. It was intended for this coming Christmas, so I got a bit ahead of myself. Imagine my jaw dropping to find I’d done 80,000 words.
I’m now on the very last scene of the first draft of the summer book, and I shall start on the one for next Valentine immediately. I haven’t missed a single day’s writing. I even wrote on my birthday last Friday! If I don’t feel up to it, I tell myself a couple of paragraphs will do, and by the time I’ve written them I’m away again. Wow! Mojo miracles!
I think I just had to write through the treacle until it started to flow again. Once a writer, always a writer. As long as the body is working well enough to produce a little energy for the effort involved, nothing can totally destroy the writing mojo.
The new books will be coming out as my new series Brides By Chance in due course.