by Dave White
I know this is a crime fiction blog, but I'm not talking about tension in a story. I'm talking about literal stress headache tension.
You see, I know it's awful to admit this, but as much as I try to, I don't write every day. Sure, when I'm in the middle of a novel, I'm getting my 1,000 words in and when I'm revising I'm working as hard as I can, but when I'm between pieces I sometimes stop. It's like going to the gym, you decide you can skip one day and the next thing you know you've missed two weeks.
The funny thing is I know this is bad for me.
Writing is a good thing for me. I've written how it is my therapy. It gets me thinking about a lot of things both in terms of the story and whatever I'm dealing with in real life at the same time. And it helps me deal with those things.
So, when I go through one of those stretches when I'm not writing, I start feeling the tension build. My muscles tighten and a dull pain runs up the back of my neck and I get frustrated a lot easier. It's like my brain needs to work something out, but is not being given the tools to work it out. I can't relax.
And the easy solution is to write, isn't it?
You're correct. I need to sit down and start tapping at the keyboard again. Just get some words down on paper, then the tension will ease, the characters will come into focus.
The problem is, I often don't realize what's giving me stress until I start writing again. I'll notice I'm stressed out, but can't figure out why. My life seems to be going well, I'm not too concerned about anything. But my temper's short, I have to work at being cheerful.
It's because a part of me is missing. Writing is a part of my life and something I really enjoy. When I'm not doing it, I miss it.
Even when it's hard.
It's time for me to get back to it. Time to start banging away at the story that's gnawing at my brain.
I have work to do.