“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)

Constant flow of ideas

book-of-kells

Like all writers, I have an idea of where I would like to take my plot before I write it all out. However, like all stories, it is an organic breathing thing that changes and shifts and moves.

Idea’s are dependent upon experiences, mindset, mood, perceptions or more importantly how strongly those experiences are affecting me as a writer at the time of writing.

Part of writing is the ability to exclude the world around you when you write. The kids running around you, the boss calling you, your teenager blasting music that sounds like the dial up screeches and shrieks of the early web. Maybe you work, maybe you go to school. Maybe you do both and housework. TV is an easy substitute, writing is distracted, your not putting out your best work.

So then it begins.

PTSD?  I didnt claim I have PTSD from my job, Doing that is career suicide so I deal- But I have noticed things.

I cant concentrate. I used to be able to put on headphones, listen to the right soundtrack and I slide into the world I have created. I can hear my characters voices. I can see them clear as day…but no more not so easily. I work just like every other author. I come home to find my daughter hand out. She needs more money for some new thing she “needs”. Music blasting, TV blasting, life is very very active here. There is no place one can claim as their own. Like everything else in this life you adapt and overcome. I put on headphones again like before. put my own music on. Tapped on the shoulder. Daughter is checking in . Going back to my world.

Damn….time to get dinner going.

Work on dinner whole time Im thinking about where I was. What was I trying to achieve, where was my mind heading the last time I was writing because currently I dont have a clue. My writing feels forced. Its crap. I dont like it. Chop it up, chuck it out. start over.

Same thing over and over and over so I think Im going to take a break.  I watch TV. My life becomes TV only even that cant appease because all I do is think. “I could have written that and done so better.”

I continue writing. writing this craptastical allegory but Im writing and thats what we are told to do. Just keep writing.

Such bullshit….

And then, in the whirlwind, in the storm around me I give pause.

A breath is sucked in, Im nowhere near my computer when it happens. But its there. I have always felt my work was missing something. I pick it up and put it down and pick it up again. Why is my work so choppy I have been asking myself. But here, in this moment a cloud has parted. Rays of light shine down, and the waters calm. The missing piece reveals itself. Its a very small detail. A very small thing indeed but it just gels everything together.

Now, what has been a 60 grade incline suddenly has crested and Im over it and now racing to capture as much as I can capture. Dinner will be peanut butter and jelly for all I care at this point. If I could I would be calling in to work, check myself into a hotel room and close all doors, unplug TV and phone. It will be a short shelf life and if I dont capture this it will be gone.

I get most of it and I press on. I write for days like this. Im pretty engrossed in my story. My impact character is impacting, skeptic is portraying the conscience of it all. Seductress is doing her job, protagonist is radiant and the antagonist is simply a misunderstood indiviual with different thoughts. But then at some point I look at it and realize, This isn’t exactly what I had originally planned

Now I look at it. It has been only one day I stopped writing, Didnt have too much of a choice there work kept me busy but as I look at it I now am in a different mood. My mind is more relaxed and as such my view is different. I remember that once upon a time I slipped completely into this story, I immersed myself there. I had not children then, no wife, I really had no life at all.

My mood has changed and now my writing shows the mood change. I dont like where its going. I dont like what Im writing, once more it feels off. Some tell me that maybe I should scrap the story if its that much work. I used to believe them. Screw that. Im a great writer. I have a great mind.

One page at a time…

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One response

  1. Alex Hurst

    I really liked this. It reminds me of a few ancient Japanese essays I used to read called ‘zuihitsu’ or ‘follow the brush’ stories, where the reader is pulled along as the author thinks, as if the brains have melded together and the author’s thoughts become the reader’s own. It is a very powerful skill to have, and you use it deftly.

    Don’t worry so much about the mood striking and then leaving. Sometimes, when I get there, I go back and read the first little bit that I wrote- where I really liked the tone and form… then get your mind back into that thought pattern and carry on. It’s why I usually have to have at least the first paragraph of my work utterly perfect before I carry on.

    If you still have trouble, playlists for mood are good; they work for me…. or reading an author who has a similar voice, just to remind yourself. I find TV dangerous… I get sucked into someone else’s world with all of that stimulation and forget my own. But everyone is different. Anyway, good post!

    April 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm

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