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Friday, August 5, 2011

Back from Where I've Been...

...wherever that might be. It feels like I have been lost for a very long time and as I looked back through some posts that I wrote before my "mojo" packed its bags and ran off with the neighbor's wife, I began to wonder just what had happened to me. Granted, I've been writing and I've been blogging, but it hasn't been the same. There was a time when I made myself chuckle and when I truly enjoyed sitting down to put pen to paper. But a broken heart can mess up even the best creative minds. Just imagine what it has done to someone like me. But enough of that. I have now resolved to dedicate myself to bringing "sexy" back. Or at least "mildly attractive." Yes, I'm getting my groove back...and I didn't even need to go to Jamaica.

In the spirit of this great comeback, I have decided to share with you the top ten ways to derail yourself from a successful writing career. I have completed them all and so I know they work. Here goes:

10. Get a divorce. It's the biggest and baddest way to motivate yourself into doing absolutely nothing for a period not less than one year but not to exceed five or six. I'm hoping not to reach that top threshhold, but rounding out this year I began to wonder if maybe I wasn't on the fast track to allowing it to sink its teeth into me and effectively bite off my writing hand. (Of course I write with both hands, but you get the point).

9. Change Day Jobs-This is certainly an effective means of cluttering your mind with enough crap that you can never get back into what it was you were originally thinking about. I managed to keep myself distracted for the better part of eight months and I work with books for crying out loud.

8. Attempt to become spiritually enlightened-This is only a deterrent if you are going about it in the wrong way...which I did for a while, but I think I might be on the right track now. So, maybe this one doesn't really count...but I needed something for number 8.

7. Wallow in self-pity-This one is really cool. I can do this one for days and have managed to allow my focus on my own shortcomings to overtake my creative genius on a number of occasions. It all started when I began having difficulty booking events as a result of the state of our economy. It wasn't really my fault and I knew that it was no reflection on how charming and entertaining I can be if given the opportunity; yet I took it all to heart and repeatedly reminded myself that I was just a lowly, unknown author whom nobody wanted to hear about, talk about, or see. Awwwwww....barf.

6. Spend your writing time watching 'Why Did I Get Married?'-Lord, I have wasted soooooo much writing time this year because I had planted myself in front of my television with a box of tissues, ready to commiserate with the cast of virtually every Tyler Perry movie in existence. This only served to make me angry and contrary to popular belief, did not motivate me to write the next great American novel. On a positive note, however; it appears that I can do bad all by myself.

5. Continuous adjustment of your feng shui-Nope, it doesn't increase your creative flow. It does give you lots of sore muscles and a really funny looking living room, though. I moved furniture in my house at least three times this year trying to get things to "feel" right. Guess what, it still doesn't feel right and I am starting to think it might be me.

4. Fail to embrace that side of your personality that seems to be inspired by David Spade-Everyone knows that allowing yourself to vent every once in a while can be a great thing. It is especially good for preventing a build up of negativity that will undoubtedly reveal itself in an epic display of ugliness that even God will not feel compelled to forgive. And so, I needed to remember that it is okay for me to explore my disgust for some things and to give it a name. I have resolved to call it Snookie.

3. Cut off the part of your personality that requires love and attention from the opposite sex-This is just plain silly. However, it seemed like a good idea to me. So much so that I have effectively snuffed out any prospects as soon as they presented themselves. My whole demeanor says, "Don't even approach me!" It takes me back to my teenage years when guys were scared to even look my way for fear that they would turn to stone. Of course, that could have been my hair...or the fact that I usually said, "Don't even approach me."

2. Resign yourself to watching only Disney, Nickelodeon and animated films-No better way to put out the creative flame than to fill your mind with the incessant yammering of the cast of The Suite Life of Zach and Cody. After a few episodes of that, you just don't have a lot left for good plotting. Never mind being able to finish a novel, try writing a substantial blog post after a marathon of Good Luck,'ll never happen.

1. Just get fed up and stop writing-The absolute best way to derail your writing career is to stop writing. Even when you think you have nothing to say, there is probably someone out there who wants to hear it. Wait, that almost sounds like someone out there wants to hear nothing...not exactly what I meant. What I'm trying to say is that no matter how much life is hurting you; no matter how many poor entertainment choices you are making, and no matter how dedicated to a sense of self-deprivation you become, you must never stop writing. Write about the struggle, write about the angst, write about the idiocracy of it all, but keep writing. Even if no one besides you and your twelve cats ever see what you've written, it is a creative release that needs to happen. If you're a writer, write. Period.

I hope you've enjoyed this revival of sarcasm and witty interchange. I'm hoping there's more where this came from and that I will now stop following my own advice. God help me get out of my own way. ;)

Until next time...

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A Little Bit of Mystery: Short Mysteries to Confuse and Amuse

Where I've Been...

Listen to my interview on the Jeffery S. Miller show.

Listen to my interview on Calling All Authors.

Listen to my interview on the Let's Just Talk w/Kathryn Raaker.

Listen to my interview on Radio Free Baxter.

Where I'll Be...

After a short break in the summer, I'll be at the following locations:

8/11/09 Allen Park Public Library, Allen Park, MI 6:30 p.m.

Looking for something entertaining for your library or bookstore patrons? Looking for a fun way to spend a couple of hours? Do you love mysteries? Then you need to schedule a Tea & Mystery event for your library or bookstore! The fee is minimal and the presentation is fun and informative! Attendees will be given the chance to win great prizes and share their thoughts about the mystery genre and their favorite mystery writers!

E-mail me today at for details on how to set up your Tea & Mystery event!

Books by Rebecca Benston

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“In The Wash is like a 1930’s film noir detective story that had a modern, edgy twist and a female lead.”

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“Talented author Rebecca Benston shows the reader just how complicated life can get suddenly and how people you thought you knew, aren't who you thought they were.”

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