Having writer’s block sucks. I have been working on several stories recently, one of which I started when I was in high school, another which I created in a very different form while I was in basic training. One is new-ish, but I only list it as such because I can’t recall when I first came up with the idea. I have three worlds, three protagonists, three completely different genres…and yet I can’t decide what to do with any of them. It’s as if my creative spark has said to me “You go ahead and keep on keeping on, I’m going to go on vacation. Don’t know when I’ll be back, have fun being bored”.
I think everyone feels this about something in some way or another. The Muse is just absent and their work suffers for it. This blog is part of an attempt to help me recover some of my creative spark. I have stacks and stacks of mostly filled notebooks in boxes in my basement. Story ideas, notes, research, concepts for elements of the worlds I have created…none of which I ever look at. It’s as if they are little more than toilet paper for me to wipe the thoughts from my brain with and the boxes they’re in are the septic tank where my thoughts go to die. I have looked through a few of them here and there as I dig through boxes looking for other stuff that I’ve put away and just can’t remember exactly where. Some of it I read and think “That’s not a bad idea if I just tweak it a little” while other notebooks get me to the point of “What in the hell was I thinking when I came up with this heap of garbage?” faster than I ever thought humanly possible.
My ideas are constantly evolving. I research things I want to include in my stories so that I get details right and I can avoid enraging people better informed than I am. Granted, there is such a thing as creative license, but I prefer a level of accuracy that keeps criticism to a minimum. This is good, but it means as I continue to research I have to correct earlier parts of my stories. Continuity is important to me. Also a curse. I know that drafts are intended specifically for that purpose, but I’m so used to the “Do it once, do it right” mindset that I over think and over work my first draft. This is where I start having problems. Plots change. Characters evolve. Soon enough I have a completely different story and then I just start over completely. Sometimes I spend so much time focused on one story, one aspect of a story, one character or detail, and I get so sick of it that I just put it down and avoid thinking about it for six months. That is what keeps happening with my pet project Shadows. I love the world and the characters I have created for Shadows, but I keep having to take long breaks away from it because I get too wrapped up in it. Someday I hope to finish it since I have other people helping me with other aspects of it. Of course, Creedence Clearwater Revival taught us that someday never comes. They are incredibly right. Figuring out where I’m going with the story and characters for Shadows has been as difficult as trying to catch a greased pig. For those who haven’t tried it, it is more difficult than you would believe. I will do it though. This blog, along with the Facebook page for the story, will chronicle the progress I make as I continue the story. When everything is done, or I at least have a short story format, I will make it publicly available. That’s my plan at least. For right now, baby steps. It’s a bit late tonight, but I will do my best to make some sort of progress on the story by Monday.
I will catch my runaway muse, my creative spark that has been on perpetual holiday. I will make this story happen. Even if it sucks, it beats being another idea locked away, halfway finished, never to be read by anyone, including myself.