Fellow Tule author Patricia W. Fischer is in the spotlight today talking writing, creativity and deadlines–all in the context of pandemic lockdowns.
Native Texan Patricia is a natural born storyteller. Ever since she listened to her great-grandmother tell stories about her upbringing the early 1900s, Patricia has been hooked on hearing of great adventures and love winning in the end.
On her way to becoming an award-winning writer, she became a percussionist, actress, singer, waitress, bartender, pre-cook, and finally a trauma nurse before she realized she needed to get her butt to a journalism class.
After earning her journalism degree from Washington University, Patricia has been writing for multiple publications on numerous subjects including women’s health, foster/adoption advocacy, ovarian cancer education, and entertainment features.
These days she spends her days with her family, two dogs, and a few fish while she creates a good story with a touch of reality, a dash of laughter, and a whole lot of love.
Patricia, take it away…
I’ve waited three years to write that word.
Finally…I’ve turned in the fourth book of my Marietta Medical series.
Finally, Susan Davidson, the fourth Davidson sibling, meets the love of her life, Thomas Reynolds, during a snowstorm and after a can of Pork and Beans takes out an armed robber.
I truly think it’s some of the best writing I’ve done. Of course, I say this, but after I hit “Send” so my editor could read my manuscript, crippling self-doubt punched me right in the solar plexus. Still, the joy sitting in my chest right now far outweighs any worry about whether it’s good or not. I hold onto the fact that after this long journey, it’s done.
Like a lot of people, my creativity took a huge nosedive when lockdowns started and the fear of COVID spread like wildfire. My husband, who worked in the medical field, left every day to take care of patients who may or may not infect him with a virus that might kill him. We wiped down everything we purchased at the grocery store, had it delivered or picked it up curbside. I didn’t go anywhere without a mask and I barely went anywhere at all. If I did go out, it was early in the morning, later in the evening, when foot traffic would be far lower. I stayed away from crowds and did everything I could to decrease my chances of getting sick. As a former trauma nurse, I repeatedly went over in my head what would happen when one of us got sick.
How would we handle it? What if the worst happened? Were we prepared?
Since school went virtual, all four kids were home, trying to learn at a computer screen all day.
Three of my kids have A LOT of trouble staying on task so I sat at the dining room table, to make sure they stayed in class and got their work completed on time. My organizational skills are minimal at best, so every day, it was like herding squirrels.
Thank God for coffee.
Not too long before COVID began its rapid spread across the world, we had a close family member pass away after a long illness. To say I was emotionally spent at this time of my life, would be an understatement. The idea of being creative after staying on constant high alert, exhausted me. But urge to write continued to bubble and I had a deadline.
On the days when I had to write something, anything, I pushed words out of my brain and on to the computer screen or paper. It was like pushing a boulder uphill and rarely were what I created worth reading twice. Susan and Reynolds’ stories needed to be told in a way I gave each of their journeys the respect they deserved. Still, creativity stayed in short supply and that only frustrated me more.
I missed my deadline and set a new one. Then I missed that one. I stopped giving my editor dates for when I’d be done since I had no idea when I could even get a cohesive first three chapters completed. The neurons in my brain weighed heavy and sluggish. Guilt sunk her teeth in, discouraged me from writing anything because “what’s the point?” Maybe I should simply write nothing until this entire thing passes or the world implodes. Maybe I should put my writing career on indefinite hold or walk away from it entirely.
Other writer friends wrote like crazy during COVID. They dove into their imaginations to escape the realities of what we saw every day on the news and online. The body counts. The worry. The misinformation. The facts. The insanity of it all. With my situation, I couldn’t escape to play with my imaginary friends and that only stalled words worth writing.
But here’s the thing about creativity. It never truly leaves us. Sometimes, it flows like a river when we have the time to sit down and get the words on paper or screen. Other times, it shows up when we least expect it. In the car, in the shower, while in the middle of work, basically places we can’t write it down, but it keeps whispering to us. Telling us to take another step toward our goals, no matter how long it takes or how easily we stumble, because eventually, we do reach the finish line.
Honestly, I think the stress and angst I went through the past few years certainly made me dig deep for Susan and Reynolds. Torture them properly as they each find a way to open their hearts again to the possibility of finding their happily-ever-afters. I hope that I’ve done them justice. We’ll find out when I get those edits back. Crossing my fingers that it’s as good as I hope it to be.
If I’m a new to you author, you can check out the first three books of the Marietta Medical series.
I’m also part of the Men of Marietta Series where we have some very sexy first responders posing for a fund-raising calendar. All for a good cause of course.