Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Swept Up in the Currents of Creativity

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I thought I'd finally gotten past whatever strange block was preventing meaningful progress on my new novel. Over these last few weeks, I've done a pretty good job of staying focused and I'm actively excited to sit down and write more of it (which was decidedly not the case for several months). Even better, the more I write, the more motivated I get, because I see that I am writing, and that makes me happy and excited and more likely to write more. Honestly, the only reason I haven't written even more than what I have in the past month is that I've been too busy to find more time.

Back when I was working on my first draft of Thousand Leaves, I had a similar experience: I was just over halfway through getting the draft on paper, a process which had taken the better part of a year, and then, one evening while I was sitting waiting for a flight at the Burbank Airport, I was struck with this bizarre epiphany that just made the rest of the book make sense inside my head. I hastily and hurriedly scribbled out a series of notes in my little writer's notebook, and I managed to write the second half of the book over the course of the next month.

With my current project, I don't quite have that level of intensity when it comes to getting it all out, but I do know that I can see the end of the story on the horizon, as well as all the plot landmarks along the way. I'll discover the individual details as I make my way through those, and it's a journey I'm excited about taking. (Of course, once that's done, I've got edits and redrafts and rewrites to worry about, but Key Point One is to get the damn story out of my head and onto paper, first.)

The catch to this (and isn't there always a catch?) is that this is all happening while I'm currently also already committed to two short stories for a pair of anthologies. I don't want to kill the momentum I've got going with my novel, but at the same time, there are still other things I need to write.

In all likelihood, I'll probably finish up the current chapter I'm working on, and then take a break to write at least one of those stories (ideally, the one that has the earlier deadline). Besides, I don't want to burn out on the novel, either, and with the end in at least semi-feasible sight, I'm not as worried about losing my grip on it a second time.

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