It’s been a weird month, to say the least. My big-kid job has been the busiest I’ve ever seen it in 7 years. Top it off with some personal medical issues and I’ve had a hard time staying motivated – to write, to work out, to read, to play video games you name it and I’ve lost interest. It’s hard to keep it up when you routinely stay late and expend all your energy long before you leave for the day, and then have worry gnawing at you from every angle.
I’m pleased to say that things are starting to take a turn for the better. Who knows, maybe I was just creatively exhausted. Can that happen? Maybe I needed the time away from fun, creative things so my barrel-o-writing-juice could refill. Either way, the juices are flowing again. (And just in case anyone is wondering, no I’m not dying, nor do I have cancer or any other incurable disease. Whatever was wrong has passed.)
However… it’s come with a price.
The book I’ve been diligently working on for the last… oh, 8 months to a year, the first one that I actually finished, the one that I was re-writing and re-plotting and it was going to be better than ever? Yeah, I’m still sick of it. STILL. I’ve been writing the last 10 days or so (go me!) but I haven’t been working on the one project that I swore I’d finish. Because I can’t.
I don’t like that word, but it’s the most fitting one for this situation. Can’t. I can’t seem to fit myself into that world. I can’t seem to find the breadcrumbs I left. I can’t seem to pick up where I left off. I can’t seem to jump over the wall that’s been built between us. I can’t seem to reach that place in my imagination. Maybe it’s for the best. Maybe I do still need a little break from it. But what if… what if I can’t ever finish it?
From reading the blogs of brilliant minds like Chuck Wendig, I’ve come to understand that the path to a legitimate book is littered with the corpses of books that couldn’t quite cut the mustard. The one’s that took a bullet so that one book – just one – could make it out alive. And that one book will pave the way for other books, as long as you continue to write them and outfit them with armor. Maybe the book I’ve been working on has heaved her last petulant sigh. Maybe she’s just pretending. I’m not sure, and I don’t like it.
Regardless, I’ve decided that I can’t let that stop me from writing. A writer writes – the end. So even if I’m not working on that book, I’m going to keep writing. Luckily for me I have no shortage of ideas to work on and no professional commitments to work on any one thing. Unfortunately I’m also now acutely aware that any one of those ideas could spontaneously combust, their ashes lost to the winds of fate, and this isn’t something that I can continue to do if I ever become a published writer.
They might not. I could be totally crazy (in fact, that’s been suggested more than once), and I tend to believe in their ability to live. Besides, who knows, maybe one day I’ll find the half-rotted corpse of my First Book, string her up to the ceiling and juice her up with a hundred thousand volts of electricity. Maybe she was never really dead after all, or maybe she’ll be better for being a monster.
I’m not going to pretend I have the answers, I’m just going to keep pushing forward and hope that someday the answers will find me. I’m also going to write… a lot. I have some time to make up for.