Like most writers, I suffer from Voices in the Head syndrome. Beyond characters whispering sweet nothings into my ear while I sleep (a lot less sexy than it sounds, believe me) there are also there ever prevalent voices of my Infernal Editor (the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing) and my even-cunninger Divine Muse (the sheep in wolf’s clothing, conversely).
In other words, my brain is filled with an angry mob, waving torches and pitchforks. As any doomed victim of an angry mob knows, the reason of the mob is directly divisible by the number of mobsters, while their need for attention is multiplied exponentially by each individual mobster’s fears and insecurities.
This is why writers have so many ideas, and why we write–so can get these damned people and their stories out of our stinkin’ heads.
It’s awfully crowded in here, y’all. And noisy. Did I mention noisy? Yeah.
What with all the jibber-jabber it can be difficult to focus. Lack of focus makes my delete-trigger finger twitchy. I don’t feel like I’m doing my best work lately, and I hate that feeling. HATE it. It makes me feel like I’m wasting my time, and few things get up my nose as quickly.
First, the good news: Keepers #2 is back in the hot editorial hands of Editor Awesome. Keepers #3 is in rough draft form, bubbling away and marinating nicely. It’s nice having a lovely little bucket brigade in the wings, ready and waiting to make my readers happy. This makes ME happy.
Not so good news: I’m not so sure about Big Dang Projeckt. That is, I love the story. LOVE IT. I truly feel in my wee writerly heart this book is meant to be written. I can just tell it’s destined to have its birth pains, and then some. A myriad of false starts, one or two computer crashes, and the latest concerted effort at Campnanowrimo has produced words and substance, but not, I feel, my BEST words and substance. I’m pushing along, but there is dischord. And I know it’s because I’m not in tune with myself. I’m not tapped into the music of writing.
This worries me. First, because I want this book written. The story has haunted me far too long, and I yearn for it be complete and polished, oh-so-shiny and out in the world being awesome. Second, because I’m in the development stages of a new novella, the first in a new series, and it’s something new I’m trying. It’s a different kind of writing for me, not fantasy oriented. Same instrument, different style of playing. I’m going from rock and roll to classical. Which means I’m going to have to weed out a lot of my go-to techniques. It’s going to require a more raw, certainly more serious, voice on my part.
The writer’s voice is the most powerful tool in their arsenal. What it I lose my grip?
The first order of business is to clear my head. I know I’m capable of this new challenge. But in order to do it I need to focus. Which means taking a break and refilling the creative well. Not a long break–just one involving putting away the computer and breaking out the notebook and pen, old skool. Walking away from the internet and technology and triggering that internal switch labeled “writer”.
There’s something magical and musical about ink flowing from a good writing pen onto fresh, pristine paper that gets my creative juices flowing. It silences the voices long enough for me to recapture my confidence in my abilities with the written word. No distractions, no noise.
Just a writer, paper and pen, and the music of words. Bliss.