Monday, June 27, 2011

This Vessel of Ink is Empty

Most of the time, I write because there is a story in my head that won't let me go. It's like a puzzle, to put it down on paper and get all the pieces in the right place so you can sit back at the end and see the beautiful thing you've created. But it's also almost like compulsory vomit-- I just can't help myself. The story won't let me stop thinking about it, so I write it. That's nice, but not always pleasant. And there's a lot of pressure there.

As most of you know (because you were reading the Archives when it was happening), I got married last year. And during the summer leading up to my wedding, I was working full-time, volunteering at three different places, and generally being an all-around busy person. So I didn't write. Well, sort of. I wrote, but not a lot. And the book that I was working on still needs a lot of work before I can feel comfortable calling it done.

But that was okay, because I was pretty busy, and it was a totally fun project.

Right now, I'm not particularly busy, but I'm still not writing. Mostly because I finished a HUGE, labor-intensive project not too long ago, and am waiting for beta feedback on it. But also partly because I'm just feeling... empty.

That's not to say I don't have projects I could work on. There's the unfinished one from last year that I owe a lot of people to finish. I have ideas for at least two non-fiction books. And another unfinished commercial fiction that's been tickling me lately. And I wrote the first eleven pages of a new fantasy YA a few weeks ago.

But nothing's grabbing me right now. Nothing is grabbing me and not letting go. And that's the way I like to write-- grabbed by my story. Otherwise, it's just work.

I'm not afraid of work. I'm just not motivated to do it right now.

And you know what? It's kind of nice. I'm a little bored most evenings, sure, but I am letting myself do other things besides write. Like pay attention to my husband, and freak out my bunny by opening her cage door. (Seriously. She freaks. It's hilarious. But in a good way). I can go have nice long training sessions with my horse, and study for work. I can maybe even get to work on our second bathroom re-model.


No pressure.

But I know it's just a matter of time before something grabs me. Something powerful, and wonderful, and strong. And off I will go again.

In the meantime, though, I'm going to focus on the book I should be focusing on. And continue being an evil bunny mother.

Sometimes it's nice to NOT be writing. But I still wouldn't trade it for the world.

What do you do with yourself when you're empty?


Adam Heine said...

I think about the next book ;-)

Seriously, for me it IS work a lot of the time, but I do it anyway. Mostly that's because I have so little time each day to devote to it, so I know even if I work at maximum level (which never happens), it'll be the better part of a year before a draft is finished. So I work.

Usually a story only grabs me when I'm not allowed to work on it. Like when I'm trying to finish the last story.

Cinette said...

For me, it's knitting and crochet. But of course, the mind wanders off on another story tangent as my fingers work away...

Rick Daley said...

I focus on my family, but I always have the next few stories running through my head. When I sit down and get serious about them they tend to flow because I've done so much mental outlining.

L. T. Host said...

Adam-- I suppose it was inaccurate of me to say that writing isn't work for me. It certainly is! But when I'm "grabbed," it doesn't feel like work. More like an obsession. And I love that feeling. But it's just nice to not be obsessed with something right now, you know?

I totally know what you mean about the story you can't write grabbing you, though. That always seems to happen to me when I'm editing a project :)

Cinette-- Yup! I get my ideas when I'm driving, or in the shower, or just watching TV. And then I'm like... well, crud. I really didn't WANT an idea right now, but I guess I won't turn it down...

I am totally jealous of knitters/ crocheters, by the way. My sister is so into it she spins her own yarn! Badass.

Rick-- See, that's awesome, too. I'm very much a pantser, but that doesn't mean I don't plan ahead-- it just means I don't write my plans down. Which also means I tend to forget them... Anyway, moving on-- like much else in my life, my writing is something I need to organize myself better in!

Keriann Greaney Martin said...

Enjoy your free time! You earned it, lady. You're lucky that you can get obsessed about a story and the words just flow. I am eager to read that one project you started last summer, and maybe for the commercial fiction to get another work-through (you know how much I loved that one!). :D