Wednesday, April 8, 2015

I want to call myself a writer again

Starting next Monday, I'm totally doing it.  Unfortunately, at this particular moment in time, I have no fucking idea what I should work on.  Forgive me if I start to sound whiny or wishy-washy, but I'm writing this blog post in an effort to puzzle it all out.

You know what would be helpful?  If someone would read this whiny, wishy-washy blog post, and just tell me what to work on.  That'd be great.  Mind doing that for me?  Thanks so much.

I guess the smartest, most efficient thing I could do would be to clean up one of my two, most recent novels, and just start sending them the hell out.  Yes, I have two, fully-written, somewhat edited books that I've never tried to get published.  The problem is that I'm just not super excited about them anymore.  I wrote them.  Now I want to forget them.

The second smartest (and second most efficient) thing I could do, would be to finish my most recent novel, which is fully plotted, and half-written -- over 200 pages down, and less than 200 to go.  This story interests me more, but again, I'm not quite what you would call 'super-duper-excited' about it anymore.  And if I'm going to dive back in to the writing life, I should probably pick a project that really fascinates me.  Yes?  No?  Duh?

So then I started looking over all of my old 'ideas', and 'unfinished' folders.  And DAMN... I really have a shit-ton of cool ideas for stories.  Some of them are paragraph-long concepts, some are several pages worth of notes, some are fully plotted -- some even have a few experimental first pages written.  I would love to write every damn one of these stories someday, but one in particular...

One story idea actually got me 'excited'.

As soon as I started reading this file, I was like, "THIS!  This shit is cool.  This shit is funny.  I'm gon write the hell out of this shit!"  And two pages into the document, it inexplicably ended.

Sadly, I have no freaking idea where I was going with it.  I think I must have started it on a day where I had it all worked out in my head, and then shortly after I sat down to get it all written down, I must have been interrupted by one of my kid's calling me sick from school, or some other, random, family emergency (which there have been a lot of in the past year).  And the thing is, I try like hell to write really unique stories, with lots of surprises and twists, and in this case, I had the set up all worked out, but not the explanation.  I have a few lame guesses, but I think it's pretty much lost forever, and that just sucks every flavor of Shwetty Balls.

So how about...

  • A 'Lord of the Flies' story with kids from multiple decades and multiple countries all waking up on an interstellar city hurtling through space?
  • A sleazy fake-psychic who unlocks his true powers when he cold-reads a beautiful, exotic woman that turns out to be a savage serial-killer in league with a necromantic cult?
  • Four different-aged clones of the same man on a scientific quest to unlock a gateway into the higher dimensions, thereby 'achieving heaven' without death?
  • A writer desperately searching for his girlfriend to save her from a succubi that would use her to awaken a goddess intent on turning the whole world into a mindless garden of sensuality?
  • A burned out musician pursued by a clandestine group determined to use his genetic material to recreate the mythological race of elves through cross-breeding and gene-splicing?
  • A young man kept as a pet in a transparent habitat by inscrutable alien beings?  (He's not the only exotic 'pet' in the habitat -- and there are some interesting toys)

FYI, these are just the plotted ideas.  Soooo many more, tantalizing, half-fleshed out ideas.  I almost wish I had fewer story ideas so that I could focus on one long enough to finish it and send it out.  Basically, I'd like to stay excited about one thing before I get another, more exciting idea, and lose interest in the first thing.  But I guess that's just not me.  Unfortunately, this all leaves me still stuck with the same problem, and after this whole long post, I'm not one bit closer to figuring it out.  The question remains...

What to work on?


Lily Cate said...

Ah, I have been in the same situation a few times. Plenty of stuff to work on, but not sure which direction to go in. Fortunately (or un, I suppose) one project has kept popping back up in need of R&R at various times, and so I've never been able to figure out how to solve this particular problem.

Jean Davis said...

I'm voting for the clone story. Though what I'm going to suggest is work on all of them.

Pick one of your ideas each day and work on it that day. The next day, if the story is panning out and you're still jazzed about it, keep writing. If not, pick another one. Each morning give yourself the choice to stick with it or pass and move on. You can always go back, but giving yourself the choice might free up the "OMG I have so many ideas I don't know where to start" problem.

Some of them might turn out to be shorts, some novels, and some dead ends. Just let them be what they turn out to be. I do this for one month every year. It's helped me be far more productive with getting those ideas out of my head, finishing those that I decide to finish, and even get a few of them published. :)

As for the one awesome story with the missing ending, that happens to me too. Keep it bubbling around in the back of your mind while you work on other stuff. It will probably come back to you if you stop trying to think about it. The mind is a crazy thing like that.

Vikki said...

Like I said on FB, Ray, I totally went through this last year. Tons of ideas, nothing that made me super excited. My best advice to you is STAY CREATIVE. Not just with writing. Do other creative things, too. Like, take a class, learn how to make souffle, paint, sculpt, go look at art or other pretty things that make you feel inspired. Inundate yourself with things that make you feel totally jazzed about life. It's sounds kinda woo-woo and hippie dippy, but by doing that, you get creative energy moving, and eventually the idea that wants to be written will make itself known.

But you know, it never hurts to bounce stuff off of people, too, especially if you have a strong idea but hit a wall. Dude I'M HERE FOR YOU. :) Sometimes you just need someone to a) hear the idea so they can then b) ask you the right questions in order for you to get over that wall.