Writer’s Quote Wednesday is a weekly feature where I delve into famous writer’s words of wisdom and share how I have interpreted the meaning for my own creative endeavors!
She wasn’t bored, just restless between adventures.
That’s me in a nutshell when in-between projects or when a project is in transition. A perfect example is my novel…or should I say novels as what started out as one book lead to three or else a very hard sell to perspective agents/publishers at over 300,000 words.
I mean that’s a lot. A lot of story, a lot of characters, a lot of interwoven sense making perspective, intrigue, and continuity mathematics, not to mention time and effort!
It was a process that took a little over a year to complete, from a beginning that wasn’t even sure what it was I was embarking upon. I came back to the half started lead-in to a story that petered off as other projects caught my interests because – you guessed it – I was in-between projects having just finished the final – time to step away – revision/edit of a screenplay I had been immersed in for months. It took 80 pages for me to realize I had something that I wanted to see through to completion. To admit to myself that I was about to commit to something that I always said that wouldn’t be able to do, write a book.
That’s when I sat down and painstakingly wrote out a basic outline for the beginning, middle, and end.
*side note* I don’t really like to outline, I much prefer the synchronicity of allowing one’s characters loose in their situation with a goal in mind. That tends to be how I storyboard on the whole, I have a goal in mind, something that needs to be accomplished, I then set the characters in the situation to get it done and from there they tell me who they are and how they’ll go about completing said task. Even the moral and emotional journey can come as a surprise to me in the end. Hell there have even been times when a romantic pairing surprises me, I’m like WHAAAAAAAAT! I see you, characters, I see you. It’s great because not only does it fully bring to life the individuality of the characters, but the realistic sense of life happening to the story.
However with this being my first book I felt that I needed to at least form some kind of boundary or else wind up having to edit the speculative fiction version of War and Peace. I mean I know they say that sci-fi is granted a little extra wiggle room when it comes to word count but there is such a thing as over capacity!
Well soon after I felt like I at least had an idea where it all was going the process of getting it there became a part of my daily routine – and on weekends pretty much the whole of it!
I was excited, it was new, like a new relationship when everything is all butterflies and eager can’t wait connection! It was exhilarating, confusing, frustrating, thrilling, and utterly fantastic!
Even when it became normalized it was exciting to always have something new waiting for me on the page. Waiting for me to interact with and write. Waiting for me to tell its story. Every day engaging in creating something from scratch, from nothing, just me and my imagination set loose!
Then finally one day came the end.
Interesting how it can be the best and worst sentence for a writer to see. In many ways its like giving birth, you’ve just pushed the baby out, the entity you’ve been nurturing inside of you for the past five months, then the umbilical cord is cut and connection severed. It exists fully now without you. Separate, and though it still needs you ( hello editing!) it is no linger dependent on your bringing it into existence.
Creation is over and now comes the real labor.
Don’t get me wrong I am always over the moon to see a project come to fruition. To see my hard work made tangible. To see living proof of my art, of what me dedication, perseverance, and good time got me. I love to know that it all came full circle and I wasn’t just spilling words off into a void but really weaving a story with a fully functional point and purpose.
It’s just that when you throw yourself into to something so completely – your time, your energies, your emotion, etc – and it comes to an end, even if it is the best possible end you could dream of, there is going to be a feeling of loss. Of empty, like there is something missing that you can’t quite put your finger on.
You will wander around a bit aimlessly, adrift, and even somewhat distracted. Even if there is still work to be done for you are in transition and with transition comes the scattered remains of having such a solid focus suddenly taken away.
Every day I showed up like Steven King to write more of my novel, to meet my muse at appointed time and create. Suddenly when I don’t have to do that any more I feel as though I don’t know at all what to do with myself.
Don’t get me wrong the process of editing is an adventure all its own, and one that I love, loath, am motivated, dispassionately impassioned about, and can appreciate all at once and sometimes not at all, let’s face it it’s going at your child with a machete and that doesn’t quite compare to immersing yourself in new and constant creation!
Sure at any given time on any given day sure I’ll be inspired, a hundred times over I’ll think of another story, a new set of characters, another mystery or focus to amuse and entertain, but like J.J. said a few weeks ago, you got to push those away. Ideas come and go, what holds your interest, what won’t let you sleep or eat without thinking about it, that’s where you need to put your energy.
That can be hard to hone in on. You start and stop. You drift between projects waiting for it to strike, the one that will keep your interest and inspire more, and that doesn’t always happen right away. Again its more synchronistic then our desperation to be doing, you have to allow chips to fall and then get organized.
I stay busy, keep at the grind, I start and I stop tinkering and toying with this and that, engaging in testing the waters and retreading the old knowing that it will happen, just as it has happened a million times before, but until that time…
She wasn’t bored, just restless between adventures.