I call myself a “recovering recluse” for a reason…I’m a work in progress on the social front. A VERY slow work in progress.
Like pouring a bad concrete mix.
I suppose I’m wondering how to find inspiration beyond parks, pretty sunsets and cute puppies (or kitties, or sloths, or whatever else). I’m hoping that my desire to work on the house and learn to play music again will help open up new avenues of creativity.
I just can’t help but wonder–what the hell happened to my storytelling ability?
I mean, I’d never been published or really tried to publish any stories before. It’s like I’d have all these crazy ideas, get a manic start, and then it’d all peter out and I’d be back to throwing it in the file cabinet.
I feel like music is super important to me, and I want to learn, but writing stories should also be important and I miss letting the ideas come to me.
I’d get plenty of help from other people, more than they might know, and that’s because I was so secluded that I did all my talking away from home, even with complete strangers. I got a few ideas that way, snippets of discussion that got me wondering, or the way somebody reacted to something.
Then, as people were less likely to chat (and I got busier, and didn’t let myself hang out as much where people were, and worked more…), I ended up forcing things along too much on the page. I couldn’t continue or it just felt like crap because I was trying too hard, trying to reconnect with that initial idea or trying to just have something work around.
Hard to do it right if there’s no stimulation in the real world. I look around all the time and it’s just depressing to me. Sometimes there’s someone good to talk and just be pleasant with. Other times…it’s like why did I leave the house? Nobody’s up for a chat and the baristas have work to do.
So much stress and trying to do so much has really hampered my ability to imagine and think. I think part of me is just afraid of living inside my own head too long again, just letting imagination flow and never getting away from being a recluse. Reading and writing were about all I ever did because they bothered no one, were quiet, and I could make friends in my head, and think of weird places I’d love to be.
Kinda sad, really, in that the characters up there were more real to me than most people outside my walls, and even my family on occasion.
However, I was still happy when I had story ideas, and I couldn’t wait to write them down. It’s probably why I stayed in college and kept writing papers for classes (and actually liked them, even when I was having the hardest time). That was different writing, though, and I’m certainly out of practice on it. I loved the research and finding something new.
It was creative, in a way.
But my fiction muscles have atrophied big time. I think it was the prep stage that killed me most. I’d either be too vague about the story I wanted to try, or I’d overthink where to go from step to step, and by the time I got done outlining, I’d essentially already written the whole story.
So, did I REALLY have to write it out all over again? Naturally, if I wanted anyone to actually read the damn thing someday.
Yeah, too much information and the mystery was gone. By then it was like editing and editing and editing long before I’d actually written anything.
That’s something I’ll have to pay attention to in the near future. I have a goal to have my whole house cleaned up and the outside (mostly) dealt with by the end of the month. If I have that stuff taken care of, then that means I should be able to plan beyond work and music.
Work will slow down come mid August, and then I’ll definitely have more of a grasp on how much time and energy I can spend writing instead of just talking about fiction writing and reading about fiction writing.
Ah, and back to reading, too.
Things have been so damned hectic that I’ve barely managed more than a chapter of a book a night (sometimes only a page or two). My reading goals are certainly shot for this year already, but I need to bring back reading, to make time for fiction and non-fiction and learn from other writers how to get the job done.
That’s what I’ve missed out on since summer started–and even before, I admit, but it’s just gotten worse because I’m always at work these days.
Thankfully, I’ll get somewhat of a reprieve in the next few weeks. I just hope I don’t burn out.
And if I start to, well, that’s where a ratty old journal might come in handy. Maybe I could chronicle my hair-tearing and possible breakdown into the start of a new story?