I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say, when I look back on this summer years from now, it will not be filled with fond memories. Aside from the flood and a myriad of other issues, a book deal recently fell through. A contracts written, marketing begun, ALMOST signed book deal for my co-author and me. It was to be an updated re-release of one of our books.

I am far from a Pollyanna, and I do my share of whining and complaining, but stamping my feet and crying “poor me” will not bring about the miraculous repair of my house or another publisher beating down our doors. Trust me, if it would help, I’d do it. But complaining is off the table.

I’d like to say I am jumping back into the writing and submission game, but it’s more like wading into the muck and mire of publishing. But before the publishing (be it traditional or indie), must come the writing. I am desperately trying to write something of quality every day, but to quote Austin Powers, “I’ve lost my mojo.” It’s not that I’m not trying. I’m actually taking a few writing classes now. I get ideas in the middle of the night, but when daylight comes, I look at my computer, sigh, and walk away. It’s time to get back on track, so I started with goals.

I have three major goals right now.

  1. Find another publisher who will love a re-envisioning of an older book as much as we do.
  2. Finish a picture book manuscript for a class.
  3. Complete and revise a middle grade short story to send to a magazine.

I have complete control over numbers two and three, but for some reason, what once came easily and comfortably is difficult and uncomfortable right now. But as Anne Lamott says, “It’s good to do uncomfortable things. It’s weight training for life.” So maybe flexing my muscles both metaphorically and literally will help. I know that mojo can’t be that far away, and with all that weight training, perhaps I can grab it.

So fellow writers and fellow human beings, weigh in and let me know how you move on when your mojo is elusive. Maybe by the time you do, I will have found mine again.

6 Comment(s)

  • by viviankirkfield Posted August 3, 2015 11:34 pm

    Ellen…hats off to you for even having the gumption to write your blog post! After all that has happened this summer, you are still getting up every morning and doing what needs to be done. And that is inspiring to the rest of us. 😉
    Maybe take a page from my night-owl hubby’s book…if you wake up in the middle of the night and have *the great idea*, why not get up and write. Maybe the peace and dark of the night are a balm to your battered soul.
    Have fun in Susanna’s class…you’ll be learning and writing…maybe you will emerge with an awesome new pb.
    Are we planning to exchange manuscripts with the Goodnight Moons this month. Maybe that would help also, as long as it doesn’t overload you. 😉 Always thinking about you, Ellen, and sending mojo vibes your way. 😉

    • by ellenleventhal Posted August 4, 2015 7:58 pm

      Thanks, Vivian! Just a lot going on, but all is well.

  • by Jilanne Hoffmann Posted August 4, 2015 1:42 am

    I’m so sorry for your publishing misfortune. I’ve heard so many tales like this that it makes me quake in my shoes. I hope this type of thing never comes your way again. I listened to Kwame Alexander speak this weekend at SCBWI LA. Maybe you could find and read his recent award speech and gather courage to move forward.

    • by Ellen Leventhal Posted August 6, 2015 12:45 pm

      Thanks, Jilanne!

  • by Teresa Robeson Posted August 4, 2015 7:23 pm

    Gosh, Ellen, you have had SO much on your plate. I’m glad that you’re wading back into writing as time permits. Sending you lots of good thoughts!

  • by Barbara Bronstein Posted August 10, 2015 11:59 am

    Sorry to hear about the cancellation. Perhaps your short story could be about resilience–and how difficult, it can be.

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