Last Monday, February 21st I met with my publisher to go over the final edits and details for the last of my two Block Island books. We went through the manuscript looking for any changes we felt were need, we chose a cover photo and discussed release date. For the Love of Block Island is now scheduled for publication in October 2022. More info to follow as the time draws closer.
I planned on taking a few months away from writing after completing For the Love of Block Island. However, after a month away, my characters are becoming a nuisance, insisting I start writing their new story. I have 25 pages written for the next book, however I have decided to put it on the back burner. Originally I planned on writing about my childhood home. Over the weekend (February 19 and 20) I developed a new plan or so I thought. 
I considered writing about Key West for a number of reasons:
--Having a known setting will I hope produce more interest. 
--I will be able to bring back several characters from my Block Island books, seeing as James Wolf, Sean’s brother has a place in Key West. 
--I’ve been to Key West twice so I know the island well. And Block Island and Key West are my two favorite places. With that being said, you know I will be motivated to write again.

As I sat down each day to write:

My characters were silent, obstinate. They wouldn't talk to me. It went on like this for a week. I would turn my computer on and wait for my friends. No one visited. I decided it was because I told the Block Island characters stories. They had nothing left to say. And still I kept the hope alive, returning a few more days to Key West. I finally realized I reached a dead end.

And that's when I decided to do an experiment. I returned to my initial project. And the flood gates opened. My characters were back and they wouldn’t shut up, they wouldn’t leave me alone, proving my theory again that listening to your muse, listening to your characters is the ONLY way to avoid writer's block.

Writing for an audience, writing something you think will garner a larger audience is never the way to write.

Write for yourself first. And for all that is holy, listen to your muse, listen to your characters. Let them take control. Let them guide you. They know better than you.

Until next month, 
Keep writing and keep reading. 

C. Jennings Penders
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