Wednesday, December 6, 2017

IWSG: Something from Nothing


This isn't the entry I was going to write.

I had it planned, I really did.  I was going to leave the entire thing blank, except for the IWSG logo, for the length of my usual entry, with a sentence at the end saying the above text consisted of all the writing work I'd gotten done in November.  I might have left it up for all of December, if things continued to go so badly.  Some part of me called it melodramatic, but I thought it would be a good way to show what it felt like to look back at an entire month and see that I'd done nothing.

It was also kind of a riff on John Cage's 4'33", but that's neither here nor there.

Things didn't seem to be shaping up last week either; I thought I had an idea that would work out, but once I wrote it down, I realized that I didn't want to write it at all.  That was Tuesday.  On Wednesday, I accepted that I didn't feel like trying to get anything done, and pulled up an old e-mail from a friend.  The e-mail is something she copy-pasted and sent to me, titled "falling in love with your story", but that's not really what it's about.  It's a writer talking about finding out what's wrong with your story and figuring out how to fix it.

Something about that must have sunk in, because on Thursday, I started thinking about a project I hadn't worked on since August.  I remembered what the e-mail said, and came to realize what was wrong with the main character that was keeping me from wanting to write her.  I scribbled down notes at work for the first time in I don't know how long.  And later that day, when I was out on my second break, I started having ideas.

No, let me rephrase that: I started having IDEAS.

Do you know that moment, when you put something together in your head for the first time, and it sparks a character and setting, a place and a reason for them to be, and you know you've got something worth pursuing?  I got that.  For the first time in I don't even know how long, I got that.

So, I went home and got to work.  And to my great surprise and relief, everything I worked on actually worked.  I leaned back from my keyboard, thrilled but exhausted, and felt like I'd just woken up after spending most of this year in one long nightmare.

It's been a busy few days since then.  The new idea is still going strong; I've been developing it a little bit at a time and seeing how things play out, letting the actual plot work its way into my head as I develop the world.  As for the project I'm getting back to, it still needs work, as I have the entire thing plotted but something about it still doesn't seem right.  But I have ways to try to fix that.  And even if I can't, then at least I have something that is working.

We'll see where it goes from here.  I know it'll only take another story crashing and burning for me to feel like it was all for nothing.  But I have a place to start from and one to build on.  And it feels good to have hope for my own work again.

14 comments:

  1. Hey, sounds like you're doing great! Keep on gunnin' while the steam is runnin'. You'll have a whole darned teakettle going before you know it.

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    1. Sometimes it feels like working on two things is more like spinning plates than anything involving steam, but I'll take it.

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  2. Ride the wave! Glad inspiration hit :)

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    1. I'm still riding it, even after taking a day off, which pleases me to no end. ^_^

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  3. That's awesome! The puzzle pieces fell into place. Enjoy it and keep writing.

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    1. I do enjoy it, and it's still working, even as I come up with new stuff. Very happy.

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  4. I'm glad you've found hope again. Good luck!

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  5. I'm glad you found inspiration and sparks. Keep it going. Good luck!

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  6. Oh yay!!!!! I'm so excited for you. YES! That is the BEST feeling!

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    1. It really is. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to have an idea hit me like that.

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  7. YES! I'm happy for you and hope it works! Good luck and may the Words be With You.

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    1. "May the Words be With You." I am totally stealing that. I'm going to use that so much. :P

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