(Image from an interesting post on Good E Reads)
I hadn’t realized how tied up my brain is with my daughter’s book until last night.
I was really trudging through my writing time, just struggling to add a couple new pages to her story. It wasn’t writer’s block, nothing that serious, but it was work. The words were reluctant, difficult, and stubborn. I got my pages done and then closed the word processor with relief. Done for the day, whew.
But there was another document open.
The previous night I had a strange dream that referenced an old story idea. It was kind of a gritty, dirty, gross, funny story idea that I had forgotten about until this dream pulled it back up. It was a vampire story, but the absolute opposite of the usual vampires in that genre. I mean, a story about an unattractive, vulgar, sloppy, dirty, grimy, slime-ball that also happens to be a vampire. What would that be like? That was the hook that set in my head.
I couldn’t remember if I had written the idea down anywhere, so when I got up the next morning I started a new document with a title that would remind me to get down a few notes before I forgot again.
Then I went to work, got tied up with other things (including my daughter’s story) and completely forgot about it. It was a good thing that I left that window open, I closed my daughter’s story and there it was. Oh yeah.
Well, I had finished my writing time for the day but I figured I could knock out a few ideas, take some notes so I could work on it later. But it didn’t quite happen that way. A strange thing happened, as soon as I started writing the words just came pouring out. There were no notes needed, all the sudden I knew exactly where it was going, how it would sound, where the chapters would be divided. So, I wrote. And I wrote. And next thing I knew it was two hours and twelve pages later.
But, wait a minute, I was having all these issues working on my kid’s series, why did everything change all the sudden?
I realized that my brain had been so consumed with the series that it was jamming the creative gears. Once I switched from “Silly, fun, Young Adult” mode into “Dirty, vulgar, adult” mode the gears cleared right up and started moving again.
It’s like the Ying Yang in my writing brain. I had too much Ying, the Yang needed to be balanced before I could move forward.
So, now I have two big, completely opposite projects going. I figure if I alternate between the two than maybe I can keep my brain a bit better balanced and avoid getting gummed up again. I had always thought that I would be so consumed with one story that I wouldn’t be able to work two, but it turns out that having a couple going might be the key to keeping my enthusiasm (and creativity) going.