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For musings on a messy writing life, the inspiration for Stella Rose, and the arduous journey to publication, along with side rants on family, pets, gardening, Vermont, and various other topics.

Home » Abandoning Art and Soul

Abandoning Art and Soul

I haven’t been writing. At. All. I can’t even pump out 500 words on a bi-weekly basis these days.


Let’s just say that in the first week of December my life took an unexpected and stressful turn. Don’t cry for me, Argentina. I’m well and will be good as new emotionally once I get my legs under me. I’m much better off than too many people out there with more serious problems.  Even so, life is relative, and mine rather sucks right now.

And here’s a truth: I still show up for my day job. I’ve been distracted, sure, but I haven’t skipped a beat, not let one ball drop, because they need me. Most colleagues have no idea my life is a mess because I am a professional.

So how about my writing job? Have I shown up?


Here’s a harder truth: For my writing, I’ve been a complete no-show.


Home Office from Doorway

The going got tough, and I abandoned my art and soul.

Many artists create through their pain, use their suffering to fuel their art, express their sorrow through their media – brash paintings, harsh and poignant lyrics, caustic essays or blog posts.

Me? I shut down completely. My creative juices become sludge in my veins. All I want to do after I’ve powered through the work day is don my jammies and watch trash television. Bonus! It’s an election year, so there is no shortage of mind-numbing escape from my real life.

I think about writing, and I feel overwhelmed. I cannot lift a finger to the keyboard except to check Facebook and Twitter, and compulsively check work email.

Then this week I met with a wonderful woman named Carol and her book group in Illinois, via Skype. They peppered me with smart questions and contributed astute observations during a lively discussion filled with laughter and good will. I could feel my mojo returning. Afterwards, Carol sent me a picture of herself with her granddaughter. When I remarked on Carol‘s loveliness, she told me she hoped to stay healthy to enjoy her two granddaughters for a long time. And then she said:  “That requires relaxing with a good book and a glass of wine, so keep on writing!!!!!   I need you :-)”

She needs me.

And I haven’t been showing up.

I have not been professional.

Instead of pouting about how I’m “not in the right place emotionally to produce,” I could have shown up, ass in the chair, writing something, anything – a grocery list, a pro/cons list outlining the rest of my life, an instruction manual for mid-life transitions – all as writing practice if nothing else, and all better than binge-watching  DVR’d episodes of The Daily Show.

It’s time to get my ass back in the chair.

ReWriteRetreat Cockpit

Carol needs me.

And I need to write.


  1. Lea Belair says:

    Your hiatus from writing is perfect.
    Take it from another writer (me).
    Wait for your inspiration to find you and love your time off and yourself.

  2. Lise says:

    I am not a writer but I found an article on the Internet and I think it is appropriate. “Regardless of what you’re going through, your life is not now nor was it ever a mess … it’s your thinking that makes it feel that way. You’re on a path and everything you’re going through has purpose — it’s not happening “to” you, it’s happening FOR you. Pay attention and look for the lessons this time in your life is offering to you. Take this opportunity to GROW through it, not merely go through it. And, don’t forget to breathe! Wishing much peace, love, joy, and abundance on your journey.” This time of your life might bring more ideas for future writing.

  3. Jeannine Dupuis says:

    Well I hope to God you are getting that ass of yours back in the chair! You have a lot of Stella Rose fans that are just waiting for our next good read from none other than YOU! Seriously, Tammy, we all know you are human and have your own trials to go through, so take the time you need for yourself and your writing spirit will return in due time. Take care 🙂

  4. Kristin Grasso says:

    There is nothing wrong with letting your ass sit in another chair for awhile. You have not abandoned anything, I have no doubt you have made a smart and strategic choice to care for YOU and heal YOU. Remember, if we don’t put the air mask on ourselves first, we help no one. You’ll get back to that chair when you are ready, but right now, you are just making sure your air mask is on properly. Take care of you! Sending love!

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