Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Ideas

Whilst sitting here at my computer, at work, neither doing work I get paid for nor the homework I'm supposed to have completed for tonight's class, I started thinking about why it is my creative process has mostly stopped for the year. Literally, a year. I haven't written more than 15k words on anything new. Why?

Passion. Or lack of.

Not passion as in hot, sweaty, omg-love-me passion, but passion like an intense desire to get an idea down in writing. That all consuming feeling of I must write this story. Revisions notwithstanding, I was writing my soul into the Kate novel, because I actually had something to say and felt strong enough about it that it needed to be shared with others. Self discovery and inner strength within the younger generation I felt were issues worthy of addressing.

Though now that I addressed it, I currently can't think of anything else to write.

Oh sure, I imagine some funny or oh shit moments as they relate to a particular scene, but the passion isn't there to flesh out the whole story. I'm missing that reason to write. I mean, I guess not everything has to have a point to it, but I work better when it's there. There is nothing wrong with writing merely to entertain it's just that I can't do it right now. I'm not into it.

Let me use one of my story ideas as an example. I thought up a terrific character (okay, I think she's terrific) for a story I thought I would have pursued by now -- a woman with albinism, able to see raw magic despite the legally blind state of her natural eyesight. She comes across a locket that is the equivalent of a magical nuclear bomb. I even thought up a boyfriend for her -- a Haitian Vodoun, one that isn't intense and spooky but treats his practice as something natural. A hobby, even. I stuck them in the middle of modern downtown Denver for hilarity's sake. (Everyone thinks the boyfriend is Hispanic by way of Mexico, and he is constantly explaining the difference to ignorant locals.)

But while the original idea appealed to me, it just didn't have that spark to keep it going. I look back on the few blurbs I have written with fondness, but there is no passion to flesh out that story.

Then there was last year's NaNoWriMo project. Funny idea -- a woman gets a one day temp assignment to babysit for a prestigious company and finds out the children are anything but normal. I wrote that one to about 50k words and set it aside when NaNo was done, but I haven't gone back to revise it. It's funny, but it's also unfinished, and it had an entirely different purpose than my usual writing. I threw stuff into the word processor as fast as I could just to see what I could come up with. An exercise in creativity. It was fun, but I don't feel a particular urge to go back and finish it or do the revisions. There wasn't really a point to that story either other than the fact that it was entertaining.

Blah. I feel like a writing elitist now. "But what's the point of the story?" So not the attitude I want to have.

I guess I'll contemplate the state of my creative self while thinking up some things for NaNo. Maybe the month of carpal tunnel syndrome will snap me out of my funk. I've got my fingers crossed...

Quote of the Day:

"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt."
-- Sylvia Plath


1 comment:

The Raven said...

Writer Irony: Writing 10 paragraphs on how you have writers