I am smack in the middle of writing two books and a holiday is in between me and the finish. So where am I? I’m not in my writing hole. I’m not on my computer. I’m not editing, marketing, or talking about business.
I’m in the kitchen (not a place I am particularly fond of) with some of my favorite people cooking and joking, laughing and playing. I even got dressed today!
Sometimes, because I tend to zone out or have tunnel vision and put way too much on my schedule, I forget what a blessing it is to be around people who I love, doing mundane things like cooking and cleaning. I forget how good it makes me feel to dress up and not be in my standard, and stereotypical, (sorry everyone in the business) pj’s.
I forget to stop and smell the cut grass, listen to the crickets, and look up at the stars instead of down at a keyboard. It’s not that I don’t love the worlds I create, but the one I live in is pretty amazing too. Thankfully, I have kids who stop me and give me a dose of reality. They remind me when I don’t stop at the time I promised, if I’ve worked so hard I may have forgotten to shower (happens more than I am willing to admit) and that the human body needs sunlight and fresh air at some point within a seven day span.
I hate to sound preachy and I’m not all about telling someone what to do, but I will say that the moments I have with my babies and my muse are some of my most precious things. I hold them to me when the world is not a nice place, when I’m not meeting deadlines or that one star review is so brutal I think I may never write again. They help inspire my made up world. In that world they live like an all knowing entity, one who shows up in the strength of a heroine, the love between the lead characters, the quirky nuttiness between friends and the love it takes to fashion something from nothing.
If I didn’t take the time to see and feel all that, I wouldn’t be able to create all that I do. For me, I’ll take the extra time to stop and read that bed time story, smell that rose, and spend that time!
Stories wait, life doesn’t.
Not too long ago I wrote a story about a bad guy. He was abusive and ‘stalkerific’, a complete and total douche. I have a lot of experience to go on with past relationships, one in particular. This one relationship made all my bad guys outwardly charming and inwardly a ball of seething tar waiting to devour its next victim. But something magical happened, after tons of court battles, phone calls that ended in me asking him not to text or call anymore, and years of therapy, I stopped having a bad guy in my stories. Oh, the occasional douche will pop up but they don’t stay around for too long. If anything, they are two-dimensional characters who only served the purpose of pushing the hero and heroine closer together faster.
I had slowly, over a long time, came to see that my bad guy wasn’t anything more than a bully, and a short badly dressed one at that. I don’t have to put him in my stories with different names and faces. I don’t have to let my hero defeat him or wait for my own, real life, hero to do away with him. I relegated him to the status of a badly dressed trope that I can use or not use. He wasn’t even the bad guys I used to use anymore. Those guys dress better and have better hair. I needed to learn to put my bad guy away, in the past where he belonged, and it opened up my writing.
I don’t need that tool to push my characters together. I don’t need him to make my hero look or seem better. My heroes were pretty kick ass all on their own. I don’t need a bad guy to make me, or my writing, better.
So, you might see a bad guy pop up in a Jisa Dean novel every now and then, but he won’t be my bad guy. He won’t be the badly dressed, abusive person who it took me years to defeat. Because my bad guys are my own. My writing is my own. And I am my own. No bad guy needed.
** Written after a bad text session with the bully boy who doesn’t bother me like he once did. I didn’t allow him to stop me from writing; in fact, I wrote another 1000 words after his text and have plans to exceed my goal for tomorrow. In hopes that somewhere out there it will help a woman find the power to put her bad guy behind her and burn brighter than ever before.