A wonderful, amazing, heart-lifting thing just happened!
On April Fools Day I gave up reading fiction books for a month, because I recognized that I was treating other people’s imaginings as a drug to avoid thinking too deeply about my own stuff.
This was hard! My ever-ingenious brain has been frantically finding alternatives – Sudoku, anyone? How about we just spend hours scanning through the blogiverse? Hey – look – here’s a pile of seed packets I haven’t fully comprehended!
But sooner or later I still had to go to bed, and getting into bed and not opening a book … well, frankly, it felt unnatural, even a little obscene. What was I supposed to do – just turn out my light and GO TO SLEEP???
Well, four days in, my brain went nuts. Starved of fantasy from outside sources, it created one of its own.
I have a whole new book sitting inside my head. All I have to do is write it down.
It’s been years since I wrote anything I felt really good about … years since I managed even a simple short story. This blog has been something of an outlet – an unclogging aid, an opportunity to play with words and memories without getting too hung up on perfection. After all, no one else gets to decide whether or not it’s good enough to publish, right? And although I don’t have many subscribers, there are several of you whose virtual company I really enjoy. In fact I’m writing this post specifically for you – you know who you are – because we’ve visited at your place and mine, within Blogland. I know you know (most of you – some of you are young enough that these miseries are still ahead of you) what it means to be blocked, and to wonder if you’ve fallen prey to “use it or lose it”, and to be scared that you may never write anything you truly like ever again, and to be frustrated to the point of screaming because you have a great character whose story you’re dying to tell – only there is no plot.
Anyway. I’m about to undock my laptop and head over to the library, or maybe a coffee shop, and write down the entire story before I lose it. No, I’m not planning to write a novel in a day, but I have the full story – the characters, the plot, conflict and resolution and all the wonderful rest of it – even whole chunks of dialogue. This has never happened to me before … I’ve always started with an idea and some characters, and let the story unfold.
I am very happy.