I started writing creatively again last night.
It’s so hard to explain what that feels like. How, when I’ve been away for long enough, I begin to even question that piece of my own identity. And wonder who I am without it.
Though I know now that who I am is still a vibrant, interesting, compassionate woman with an inner connection to myself that defies logical description, anytime I find myself in an unintended hiatus from writing, it’s always a breath of relief when the inspiration comes back to me. When my mind starts churning and my fingers fly across the keyboard and story just pours out. When I create someone outside of myself that often still expresses pieces of me. Sometimes pieces I didn’t even know until they show up on the page. It’s an entrancing kind of discovery.
I’ve been very stuck on my new novel – the second one. The first one I wrote in a free-flowing style, starting with the scene that begins on Page 66 and jumping around from there wherever the wind blew me. It was really fun to write that way, and a real pain once I got to the editing process because there was so much repetition. I had explained who the characters were so many times as I uncovered them, and it was hard to weed through what I’d already said explicitly four or five times and what I hadn’t said at all.
In the second book I sought to solve this predicament by doing a lot of brainstorming about the characters and plot line and by attempting to write it as chronologically as possible. Sometimes I get a flash of insight of something that is just meant to happen later, and I skip ahead, but I’m trying to keep that to a minimum.
However, right now I’m missing the sparkle. I wouldn’t call it writer’s block exactly; I can still sit down and put words on the page. But the inner glow that comes from letting the work shine incandescently through me is definitely turned off.
Sometimes, this becomes the point where I have to let a story go. Believe me, I’ve started dozens throughout my lifetime to set against the one (that’s right, ONE) that I have actually finished. Sometimes I would get more than a hundred pages into a story and then lose the sparkle, thus far never to be found again. Finishing is HARD. Much harder than I ever thought it would be.
Even when the spark came back this time, it came back for a different storyline – a much shorter one which I hope to be ready to share with y’all soon. So I still don’t know what will happen with the second novel, but I’m keeping it in reserve.
For now, I’m just glad to be communicating with the essence of story again. There’s no other feeling, for me, quite like the way it swoops down and pushes me along, so that I forget where I am or whether I’m hungry or anything to do with my own life, and simply become immersed in a world that is just beginning to unfold around me.