Keep Calm and Write On or Drama Begets Drama?

Is it possible to be at your best creatively when your life is at its worst?

So much has happened lately that disrupts life as we know it. Hurricane Sandy on the east coast, with many writer friends without power, which meant not only no wi-fi or computer to write on, but you could be hungry, cold and wearing dirty underwear to boot.

Then the election happened. Can you step away from the drama that media brings to the election to take time to create?

As much as yoga and meditation and re-routing thoughts have helped me live more “zenfully” as a creative writer and marketer (and wife/mom/human being), I’ll admit my

Avoiding election night drama by going to the theater!

stomach was in knots on election day. And social media is an absolute train wreck pre and post election. Losers whining. Winners bragging. And then feeling disgusted that people think it’s okay to say awful things. YET YOU JUST CAN’T LOOK AWAY. I was sucked in. I really don’t use social media as too much of an op ed vehicle, but I do like to comment on what others’ post. I even found I got in some word count that day for NaNoWriMo, though the next day I was toast thanks to staying up late and watching  the election results. I’d even gone to Mary Poppins on election night!

I simply can’t produce at my best when my life is full of drama.

For me, creativity is an outlet, but I have a tough time stepping into my fictional world if my real world is a mess. Which is why I try to keep my real world as drama-free as possible. The truth is that my fictional world is so full of conflict that the mental intensity it brings to my life has to be balanced by one void of conflict. This doesn’t mean, though, that my real world has to “Mary Poppins cheerful,” either. In fact, lately I’ve had severe lows which prompted me to write (yet another) short story on grief called “Pockets of Hope” about a young adult male coming to terms with what a lost love had meant to him and his future. It will be featured in an anthology with three other grief-finds-hope stories called Hope Floats coming Dec. 20th as an ebook exclusive.

For me, I can utilize a mental state (such as anxiety or sadness or even bewilderment) and create a mini world that I can control. So in a way, it’s my Type A tendency to control things that beckons me to write a story where I literally do get to control the outcome. (Though I’ll always claim the characters find their way out of it.)

I’d love to hear from you. Are able to “keep calm and write on” despite the drama in your life or does drama in actually aid your creative process?


Thanks so much for all of your support on the Something New book launch. 777 people registered for a chance to win a signed copy of the book on Goodreads. The tour continues so stay posted on where I’ll be by following my Malena Lott Author page on Facebook and will actually bump right into the next blog tour called “Sleigh Read” where Buzz Books’ authors will be taking turns discussing the holidays on blogs and giving away ebooks from our line. If you’re a blogger, contact me so we can get you scheduled. malenalott (at) me (dot) com

And this contest is going through the end of November. Email me your receipt for Something New and I’ll gift you one of my short stories on the Kindle.

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