I heard the first sentance of my last novel in a dream. I woke up the next morning and started writing. I didn’t stop until I had a completed novel that I felt happy with eight months later. At first there was only one voice in my head, asking me to tell her story. But as I wrote, I began to hear other voices and the stories cast of characters fanned out and came to life. Writing was fun, writing was addictive. Even when I wasn’t writing I spent every waking hour thinking about the characters in my novel.
I finished that book about a year ago. Since then I’ve written about 2/3rds of a first draft of a memoir, I’ve written this blog, and I’ve read or listened to more than 100 books written by other people. But I haven’t caught that addiction to writing again. I haven’t dreampt up a new story that I felt an uncontrolable urge to write down.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about anything. In the past year, I’ve invented about a half a dozen casts of characters. Some have been interesting, and some have been ordenary. But their stories have all had major problems that told me without question that a book about their lives could never find a market. They weren’t stories ment to be written down, they were just stories meant to entertain me.
The book that I started two weeks ago in my half hearted attempt at NaNoWriMo, wasn’t about a character who has taken over my conciousness. Instead it was a plot that I thought might have a market and consisted of characters that I didn’t know or care about. The result is simple. I don’t care about this story. Writing feels like a chore, and everything that I write is flat and lifeless. Nobody will want to read what I’m writing right now. I don’t even want to read what I’m writing right now. So why am I writing it?
Last weekend I went camping – yes in November. I know I’m insane. I didn’t bring anything to read or write, I just hung out in the rain and did a lot of day dreaming. The story I invented for myself over the weekend had nothing to do with what I’m supposed to be writing. It also wouldn’t work as a novel. But it entertained me during a wet rainy weekend.
So I’m just going to take a step back and trust myself. I’m only 30 years old, and I daydream 24/7. Obvoisly, I will write another novel. But I don’t need to force it. When a character wakes me up at night begging me to write – I will. But when I find myself board with my own writing, well then maybe I should just read a book and think about something else for a while.
Joke of the Day
Once there was a man who decided to build a house. He carefully counted out all of the bricks he needed before he began construction. But when he was finished with the house, he had one brick left over. So he threw it in the air.