Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Picking up Where You Left Off: Writing After Life Throws You a Curve Ball by Penny Zeller

A year and a half ago, my husband underwent open heart surgery to repair a mitral valve. He experienced complications, including a permanently damaged lung, which necessitated numerous visits to the emergency room and a stint in the ICU.

During this time, I became his caregiver, as I nursed the person I loved most back to health.

Between caregiving and my other wife, mom, and homeschooling activities, there simply wasn’t time to sit down and write at the computer, let alone construct scenes or develop conversations between characters.

Most often, I didn’t have time to think about writing, but there were those moments sitting at doctors’ offices waiting for my husband to be called in for his appointment when thoughts scurried through my mind. I missed my characters. What were they up to? What adventures were they having? Were they behaving? Had they found true love? Would my latest work-in-progress ever advance from scenes in my mind to scenes carefully plotted on paper? Would I ever be a writer again?

We all go through those times when, due to life’s circumstances, we aren’t able to write as often as we would like. It could be an illness, a family emergency, a computer crash, day-to-day busyness, a burnout, mental blocks, or just an overcrowded mind.

Is it possible to get back into writing after a dry spell? Yes! Here are five tips that were helpful to me:

  • Pray for the Lord’s perfect timing.
  • Start slow and be patient.
  • Set realistic goals.
  • Ask for assistance from family and friends when you are overwhelmed.
  • Don’t panic! If God has placed this calling on your life, He will enable you to continue using your gift in His timing and for His glory. As Ecclesiastes 3:1 says: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

I still struggle at times to get back into writing. However, I was able to complete a novella, Love from Afar, included in the May 1 release of The Secret Admirer Romance Collection. Last week, I completed my current work in progress, an 85,000 word historical romance. The next goal? To have it submitted to my agent before the end of the month.

How do you get back on track with your writing after getting off track?


Love from Afar (The Secret Admirer Romance Collection): When secret love letters are written in a clandestine plot to bring two lonely hearts together, will love from a distance finally bloom into matrimonial bliss for Gabe and Meredith?

While Penny has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on topics ranging from inspirational, health, current events, people profiles, parenting, and how-to articles.

Today, Penny is a multi-published, award-winning author of eight inspirational books and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. She is a homeschool mom and actively devotes her time to coaching homeschool P.E. and teaching a variety of subjects at her local homeschool co-op. Her passion is to assist and nurture women and children into a closer relationship with Christ.

When Penny is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children while camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, gardening, and playing volleyball.

She enjoys hearing from her readers at her blog at Random thoughts from a day in the life of a wife, mom, and author at, @pennyzeller on Twitter, and