Reinvigorating Your Imagination

Another Round Robin Blog Topic. On a subject I recently experienced, so I can really go with this one.

Several weeks ago, as I pounded the keyboard toward the finish line of my latest novel, The Culinary Art of Murder, I found the ending wasn’t going to work. Here I was with nearly 80,000 words done, only 5,000 to go, and no “The End” in sight. I had an October delivery deadline. I panicked. I prayed. I wept. I ate chocolate.


At a loss, I put the manuscript away hoping my sub conscience would find a way. After all, I’d already written eleven books and it hadn’t let me down yet. I let the old ‘sub’ gestate, percolate, and regurgitate. Maybe my inner mind knew what it was doing, even if I didn’t. The scary thought was maybe. More prayers. More weeping. More chocolate.


So, was I done as a writer? No, I decided. But writing can be an ephemeral thing, as can the rest of life. You can’t always get to the same place in the same way at the same time. And things can turn on a dime. I allowed myself to become distracted. Life helped me out.

One of my two cats, Ellie, got sick. As a dutiful mommy, I became preoccupied with getting her well. My musician husband, Norman, had a lot of gigs. I went to see him perform.

The weather became oppressively hot. When I wasn’t watering my garden, I stayed inside and watch old movies on TCM, eating more chocolate. Every now and then thoughts of the book would flit into my mind, but I’d beat them back with a mental stick. I didn’t want to think about writing or my book for a week or two. And as a person who believes a day without writing is like a day without sunshine, it was difficult.

About a week later, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. with a clarity not given to me before. The ending I had initially envisioned would work if only I changed my approach to it. Stop pounding it into the ground, I thought. Stop making it a big deal. Stop trying to ‘write’ the ending. You’ve set it up; let it write itself. And so I did. I relaxed and let the characters, story, and plotline lead the way. And when I was done, typing “The End” never felt so good.

There was a downside, though. I gained three pounds from all that chocolate. But what price art?

Here are the other authors joining Round Robin Blog with a lot to say on the subject:
Diane Bator
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress. com/
Anne de Gruchy category/blog/
Skye Taylor blogging_by_the_sea
Victoria Chatham
Marie Laval uk/
Judith Copek
Dr. Bob Rich
Helena Fairfax blog
Fiona McGier
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.
Rhobin Courtright http://www.

9 responses to “Reinvigorating Your Imagination”

  1. Whenever I stop at the local gas station to purchase some M&M’s, the clerk always says, “You must be writing today!” They know me so well. Congrats on your break through moment. Can’t wait to read the book.

  2. When we have a problem – there’s always chocolate. 🙂
    I believe in finding the answer while sleeping or in dreaming. I didn’t realize how many other writers did the same. Thanks for sharing.

    • Beverley – there’s safety in numbers. Or misery loves company? Either way, I didn’t think so many of us suffered from the same malady and dealt with it in the same way! Isn’t that wonderful? Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Heather,
    I loved all the humor in yourr post. And I empathized with the problem. Endings (and beginnings) are by far the hardest to write. I usually take a break before the ending to “gear up” to write it. Well, three pounds is a cheap price for a good ending, don’t you think? Thanks for a really good read.

    • Hey Judy! I know what you mean about beginnings, too. The first chapter of all my books has to be written and rewritten far more times than any other. Who can explain it, who can tell you why! Thanks for dropping by, Judy.

  4. Chocolate might not be the answer, but it’s fun trying to find out! And sometimes stepping away for a bit really is what it takes. Sort of you can’t see the forest for the trees, but if you cross the road into the field and look back, Voila! There’s the forest!

    • Thank you, Skye! You’re right. Sometimes caramel is the answer. I forgot myself. As my mother often said, ‘if everyone liked chocolate, what would happen to vanilla?’

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