I’ve been playing hooky. (Doesn’t that word look strange? Maybe it’s just me. I find it odd that I rely on words and yet, sometimes, a word will just look wrong. Hooky is just such a word.) I have to be honest, I just haven’t had any impulse to write the last week or so. I can blame the holidays, the melancholy that sometimes takes hold around this time of year, the fact that I’ve been a little depressed over the writing contests and the fellowship I didn’t advance in, and a slew of other creative sucking outside influences, but I’ll woman-up and say it’s all me. I’ve sat down, stared at the computer, and then…nothing. I know we’re supposed to write even when we don’t feel like it, and it’s a great way to escape reality, but I’ve been losing myself in books, movies, and video games, which are all creative outlets, some with inspiring effects, but, they aren’t writing, and I know that. I should also know better.
The other night while I lay in bed, my mind finally free to roam because I was dozing off, I had a strange, dark, sort of twisted story idea. I grabbed my phone, used that note app I’m so fond of, and jotted down what I had just envisioned. It was a big jump in my mind, something I had heard while watching American Horror Story — there was a line of dialogue that sparked this chain of ideas. I’m always surprised at where the ideas come from. And I know this is a story idea I will want to explore. I’ve been lucky, so far, that I haven’t had a lot of lag time between ideas (that I want to expand on). I tend to have a vision of one scene, and I go from there. The first images I have are usually strong ones, that make an impact, which I know, in turn, will make a compelling story (at least I think so). I try to write everything down right away, because as I’ve noted, my memory is horrible. I’ll have this idea or a bit of a scene or dialogue, not write it down immediately, and then it’s out the window. I’ll rack my brain for days trying to recall what it was, but, it’s usually gone. I even try the trick of walking into the room where I had the idea, or try to recreate what I was doing, saw, heard, etc., but my mind is like a bottomless abyss where ideas fall, never to be heard from again.
Then I saw this article about choosing which story to write next and thought I’d share it. If you have too many ideas and don’t know where to go, Script Magazine offered this advice, which can be utilized for any writing, not just scripts as the title suggests. I think this also helps in relation to the “branding” idea I discussed recently, when you’re trying to build a portfolio of your work, and loving the story your writing. It all comes back to passion. Which has made me rethink why I’m not writing. Maybe it’s a lack of passion. I’ve let a lot of those outside influences dictate my mood, which is always a creativity killer, but sometimes life just gets in the way of productivity. I did not meet some of my year end goals, another thing to add to my current state of mind, but then I thought, “the goals are meant as a challenge”. “They are meant to be inspiring, not to encourage a defeatist attitude.” They were a little inflated as well, so as the new year lingers on the horizon, I will keep those goals in mind, set new, attainable ones, and work a little harder to achieve them.
And this is what I wish for all of you — Don’t set yourself up for failure. Try to remain focused. Try to maintain discipline. Stay positive.
I wish you all a Happy New Year and a productive one at that! Continued well wishes to you and your writing! And thank you all for your encouragement by following my ramblings and encouraging me to continue to work on my dreams!