Writer’s Drought

Before I get to my topic for this week, I want to say how saddened I am to hear about the death of the great author, Tanith Lee, on May 24th. At 67 she had already written 77 novels and almost 300 short stories. While her work wasn’t always a comfortable read, it was always a beautiful one and she will be missed.


I call myself a writer, but I haven’t written any fiction in three weeks. I didn’t even read any fiction for two and a half weeks. Most people would call this “writer’s block” but I’ve had plenty of blocks and this doesn’t feel like one. It’s more like all my ideas have shriveled up and blown away.

My Protagonist, Rehna

And you know what? I’m not worried about it.

Lots of writer’s say you need to write every day to be a “real” writer, and in principle I agree. However, I think there are times that you just have to recharge. I did Camp NaNoWriMo in April, I even did a 10 000 word day, when I’d only been writing every day for a month before. I had fun doing it, and I don’t regret it, but I really wasn’t ready. It was like running a marathon with only a few weeks of training. It may be doable, but there’s a cost.

I wish I knew how to explain the difference between a block and a drought, to explain how you know when you have to fight through it and when you just need some distance. I think it just comes down to knowing yourself.

Rehna’s friend Alia

This drought seems to be nearing an end, thank goodness. I’m reading again (Tanith Lee’s Unicorn Trilogy), I’m thinking about who my characters are, and I even read over a bunch of my notes today.

Even though I wasn’t writing, I started drawing some of the characters from my latest writing project, a novel about a thief who must uncover her lands ancient past to bring down an oppressive ruler. I’ve included a couple of those pictures in my post today, even though Rehna’s looking a little stiff.


Some links:


The Emotional Wounds Theusauras from Writers Helping Writers — This has really helped me start getting back into the heads of my characters.


Proko.com — Lots of great free videos here on figure drawing. A warning though: the photos used in the videos are tasteful, but some of them are not safe for work.


All About Them Books — A must view for any book lover.



  1. Erica
    June 5, 2015

    You did great during Nano… you deserve a break! Unfortunately, I was already in the midst of a drought during Nano this time!

  2. A. L. Dowdall
    June 5, 2015

    Thanks. 🙂

    I hope you’re getting over your drought, too.


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