by Chrysa Smith
Well, shops and restaurants aren’t the only things shut down this past year. So is my creativity. With the desire for another book looming, all inspiration has seemingly dried up. And here’s what I learned.
Since 2007, I’ve been able to pump out children’s books about every two years. It was never a struggle, except for edits. But the story was clear. The rising action, the apex—it was all clear. In short, I had what I needed to knit together a good story. And it’s about time to do it all again, but for now, there’s no inspiration. All of the other books have been organic, in the sense that a story came to me before the concept of wanting to do a book. Now, however, I want to do a book and can’t find the hook—or the storyline. And while you might think that the pandemic is just the opportunity to sit a write awhile, it hasn’t been for me.
I need mental stimulation. And what I’ve come to realize is that much of it has come from spending time in schools with children. Yes, being with the kids, seeing their reactions to the stories and what clicks, doesn’t click, what they like, suggestions—it all comes together to energize me. It sends me home with more ideas and more energy. The only energy I could seem to scrounge up this past few months was Christmas baking, which I did far too much of.
So here I wait for inspiration to strike. I know I want to continue with my current character. I know where I want to set her. But the magic? Squat.
In a few weeks, I have my first virtual visits of the school year—so far behind from normal years. And I’m grateful to have them. And perhaps afterward, I’ll find that even virtual energy can get me off the bench and onto the pitcher’s mound–hint, hint.