Between starting a new job, getting sick twice, Thanksgiving, and various other windfalls, I haven’t had much time to write lately. Some days a blog is about all I can manage.
I’ve talked before about the energy it takes to write and how to battle The Drain, and because my coherency often far outstrips my short-term memory, I went back to it the other night to see how it could help. I ended up following suggestion number four: Write Something Else.
There’s plenty I could be working on. I’m supposed to be prepping Dead Isle, and I have a half-dozen started stories and ideas. But I just wasn’t writing anything, and all the stories felt tired and worn to me, so I sat down and did something a little different.
I don’t know if most people have a fantasy life as extensive as mine; I kind of hope they do, because it’s awesome, but I suspect they don’t. My daydreams run to full-on worlds, with their own laws and casts of characters. Most of them are self-gratification, stories that don’t necessarily make sense or which are designed to fill some gap in my Id rather than make an important statement to the outside world. They’re what I mess around in while I’m trying to sleep, when I’m bored, when I’m doing the dishes (see: when I’m bored). Some of them become real stories, some definitely never should. I very rarely write them down in their raw form, because I recognise that they don’t have much to offer to anyone else.
But, seeing as I wasn’t writing anything else, I thought I’d try to set down a story that has been playing out in my head a lot lately, just to be writing something. With no expectation that anyone ever would or ever should see it, I just slammed some words down on the page, which I haven’t done in a really long time. It was like a little two-hour NaNo or something. The story was already there — mostly involving a post-disaster community which suddenly experiences a new influx of survivors, and particularly how the children of the community are fostered and managed (also there are monsters). If I can get a good angle on it, it might become something, but I doubt it.
And anyway the point wasn’t really to turn it into something; it was just to get back in the habit. It didn’t break a floodgate or anything, but I’m a patient man; I can wait for the right moment, and then all will happen as it should. The idea is just to keep trying different things until something works. It’s not a question of block, just of motivation — but then sometimes I suppose it’s hard to separate one from the other.