By Natalie Bright

The writing life is a solitary endeavor, and routinely interrupted by everybody!

Seriously, at times writers have to put aside the world within their heads and face reality. Somebody’s always hungry (at least at my house), something needs cleaning, bills waiting to be paid, and laundry is piling up. I’ve been hit with reality for several weeks now and I can’t seem to dig out from under it. I really miss my fictional world.

Many experts suggest that you have to live a real life in order to find material for your stories. Overheard conversations, experiences, and research can add richness to your writing. That may be true. During this break my creative mind may be taking a pause, but my self-editor and self-doubt is partying hard. I’m a loser. I’ve been working on a 500 word piece for a month now and it’s just not coming together. At this point, I’m totally convinced that I will never write anything again that anyone will want to read. I can’t see that I’m making any progress towards building a writing career. I’m done.

Thank goodness part of the real world this past weekend included a writer’s meeting. Author and song-writer, Jan Sikes, talked to the Texas High Plains Writers group in Amarillo about her series of books based on her life with a musician. Using the facts of her own experiences, she changed the names of the people involved to create what she explains is 90% true and 10% fiction. She even gave herself a fictional name so that she can step back from the very personal connection and bring this fascinating love-story to life. Her talk was excellent. I’ll share some of her writing advice with you next week.

Thank goodness I am reminded how sitting in a room full of creative people can give you inspiration to keep going.

Texas High Plains Writers meets every other month on the third Saturday at the Amarillo Senior Citizens Center in downtown Amarillo.

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