The topic this week at Wicked Writer’s is writer’s block. I stared at this sentence for a week! I’m just kidding. For those of you wicked readers who have surfed over this week, looking for someone to help with a problem that you either have had or are having presently, only to find a group of (mostly) unsympathetic unbelievers, waiting to feast upon you like starving vultures – I want to apologize. I want to apologize for joining in that feast!
You see, I am another who has yet to experience any real trouble with the muse or creative process of writing. Even this particular post was something that I volunteered to write only two days before. Forgive me for sounding cocky and please allow me to explain.
I write fiction. That has been the bulk of what I have been thinking about since puberty, other than a little time spent thinking about girls, that is. If you know anything about me as a writer at all, then you know why I have done little writing over the last twenty years or so. It was because I was busy with career and family, never really believing that this time would ever come. Thankfully, it did come; however, I will not bore you with those details here. What I will tell you is how the inspiration does come. I will explain how it is that I have had two short stories published, my debut novel published as an e-book (poised to become a paperback this fall), and finally the novel’s sequel written in a mere eight months.
For me, the key is to wait for the inspiration to come…but not while sitting in front of the keyboard. I have mentioned what I do in previous blogs, so some may have read this from me before. What I do is build up to the writing. Whether I am in the car, in the shower, or in bed during those first moments before I fall asleep, I remind myself where I left off the following day and allow my mind to decide what should occur next. A gestation occurs, if you will.
I do outlines, but they are extremely rough and leave a lot of opportunity for new ideas to take shape later. I remind myself where I left off the time before, so I usually know where I am heading. The next part of the story does not always come easily. Sometimes I dismiss ideas or decide what I do like out of a given brainstorming session. If I like what I am seeing in my head, then it usually powers the next part rather excitedly. If I do not like what I have, I give myself more time.
There are many moments in life for the mind to go off on tangents. Have you noticed? I’m in my early forties and have been married for over twenty years now, if I see an attractive woman, it is very easy for my mind to go places that I do not need it to go. Therefore, this is a very helpful process on a great many levels! I am sure my wife would second that notion. All humor aside, for me, it really works.
Early on, I received many questions during interviews, where I was asked just what it was that I was attempting to convey when I created this character or that plotline. Like a George Orwell, was I hoping to issue an edict on this social disorder or warn of the corruption of some establishment? People were looking for some message or another, and I would have loved nothing better than to grin at how clever or brilliant I was compared with other writers. The truth of the matter, however, is I am just a guy who has been blessed not only to see movies playing in my head, but to also be able to write them down in a fairly descent manner, hopefully before they dissipate like pardoned ghosts.
For those of you who struggle, I wish you well. Keep writing, and keep thinking about writing. Perhaps this will help.