Empty

I can tell you I’ve been busy – and that would be true.
I can tell you I’ve been away – also not a lie.

But the real truth is that for over a month I’ve been finding distractions that take me away from fiction writing and from this blog where I’d have to own up to the truth.

I’ve been writing other stuff – fact isn’t a problem, but somehow the idea of making things up has scared me.

Lazy

I told myself I was simply busy with other things, that I was waiting on an answer from an agent. That I would get back to editing an almost-finished novel just as soon as I could. But the nagging thought that prevented me from opening that incomplete novel and making it whole was what happens next?

There would be a blank page and I’d have to come up with something new.

An original idea.

And that’s where it got scary.

There is one advantage with working on a novel, there is only one intimidating moment when you sit down and stare at a blank page. Once you’ve started, all you have to do is carry on. All – I know, it’s not as easy as I’m making it sound, but the start is the worst bit, I promise.

So while I haven’t been lazing around in bed I have been avoiding this blog and my writing notepad. And it’s been a process to get back to it. Everyone has their own methods. Mine involves ignoring writing for a while, then easing back into it with a diary entry or two, just to get the words flowing. Not made up words at this stage, not fiction. But facts are still made up from words, just like fiction is.

Then a chance conversation at the weekend gave me an idea, and before I knew it I was writing a story.

The good news is, it’s like riding a bicycle – once you get in the saddle it all comes back to you.  So now I’m happy to say, I’ve gotta go, I have a story to finish. But I’ll be back soon, I promise.

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7 thoughts on “Empty

  1. Great insights into the creative process. Thanks for sharing, Debra. But for now, stop reading this reply and go back to writing, we all want you to write more than anything. Except photography, maybe?

  2. Thanks Brian and Andreina for the words of encouragement.

    uphilldowndale – It is like that, once you start the worst thing you can do is stop, because some day you’ll have to start again.

  3. I can identify with some of what you describe.

    Why, some days do words come poring our and another days there’s not even ‘Nada’?

    I’m in the latter stages of a work project that required some blasts of creativity and at one point there was just the sound of an empty brain rattling around in my head.

    I decided its just better in those situations to divert for a while to something else. Its surprising how the ‘background processing’ of the brain works and when I came back later against the still looming and now gigantic deadline, there were new ideas and words that flowed.

    Not necessarily the best tactic, but sometimes the space or calm can help.

    • One thing I found out a long time ago is that the times when you feel inspired and the times when you don’t differ only in one respect – and that’s the ease with which the words get committed to page (or screen). With hindsight, the quality of those words, I’ve found, is indistinguishable. Which puts me in mind of a quote by Mary Heaton Vorse
      “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”

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