You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.
You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street
Excerpt from "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"
by Dr. Seuss
Full text available here
My hiatus turned out to be a very good idea. Taking a step back had the remarkable effect of allowing some things to come forward that must have been waiting in the back of my brain. I made some very good decisions, I think, and I'm feeling positive and motivated again. This was due in large part to a couple of books I read, about story telling, that I will recommend forevermore.
1. GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Debra Dixon. This is a must-read for every fiction author and neo-author ever, in any genre. I have no idea why it took me so long to stumble across it, so I will recommend it to every person who ever asks me about getting into writing, fixing their writing, improving their writing, or enjoying their writing. Whew! Get this book! Oh, and there's only one place to get it, so here's the link.
2. Deep Story by Carol Hughes. I used the workshop version, but there's also a book. Carol Hughes has her own interesting backstory, and a valuable way of looking at storytelling. She has a remarkable ability to pull info from disparate sources together and form them into a useful whole. By reading this, now don't laugh, I finally understand the Three Act Structure. Sure, I've heard about it most of my life, but this author put it into the clearest terms I've ever come across. If you read a lot of books about story-telling and writing, the info herein probably won't be new, but even so, it's presented in a way that is eye-and-brain catching and very useful. There are even some simple worksheets!