…You just gotta listen to yourself…
I read a J.K. Rowling article recently in which she says when she got the inspirations for Harry Potter and her new book, The Casual Vacancy, she felt a rush of adrenaline when the idea sparked in her mind. Her words: “‘Obviously I need to be in some form of vehicle to have a decent idea,’ she laughs. Having dreamed up Potter on a train, ‘This time I was on a plane. And I thought: local election! And I just knew. I had that totally physical response you get to an idea that you know will work. It’s a rush of adrenaline, it’s chemical. I had it with Harry Potter and I had it with this. So that’s how I know.'” FYI: The Casual Vacancy has a character in it named Krystal. ^^ Daughter of a prostitute. Lol! But it’s still fun to see my name, especially in something J.K. Rowling wrote!
Anyway, this whole thing got me thinking…Have I ever felt that spark?
However, the times I have, I’ve gotten crazy-manic about the idea, super-excited, so excited I could barely calm myself down long enough to write the crap that was dancing around in my head. And every single time, those ideas have been an epic failure. In a way I suppose it’s a good thing…I know now that if I’m through the moon excited at conception, I need to start looking for ways out of the project. Doesn’t mean they won’t ever work out…but it does mean they won’t work out RIGHT NOW.
I still need to get over the moon excited. Just not at conception. I don’t get excited now until the idea starts solidifying in my mind. That’s the moment I realize…I have a story to write and it’s actually going to turn out okay! I’m not psychic so it doesn’t mean it’ll get published or get me an agent or anything as fun as all that. It only means that it won’t be an epic failure. It means that I’ll make it to the end of this story and that I’ll be proud of myself and happy with the way things turned out.
It’s a building excitement. If I start out excited, it starts to wane the closer I move to actually putting pen to paper (or start hacking words out on a keyboard, if you will). It’s my subconscious’ way of telling me to STOP and TURN AROUND because I’m going the wrong way. On my last story and with this one the excitement crept up on me. Took weeks for me to realize what I was dealing with and a few days more to make sense of what was unraveling in my head. I wondered if the idea was crap. I tried to talk myself out of it. I mused over the bare bones. Wrote some stuff down. Mused some more. Wrote more stuff down. And then it starts coming out in a flood and I’m making notes to myself wherever I can and then I realize…I’ve gotten the green light from my self-conscious to continue moving forward.
So what do I have to work on?
A few posts ago I posted about finding my Mojo…this is the idea I’m working on right now. I didn’t understand what I was seeing in my head when this idea first came to me. So I tried to make sense of it. In the first idea I had to force what I saw into it. And the second idea didn’t have what I saw in it at all!! I went with it anyway because it was exciting to me (at first). Then came time to get cracking on it and I panicked. And I remembered something. Earlier this year (March-ish) I felt frozen too. I wanted to work on my series but I wouldn’t start writing for the life of me. Finally I sat myself down and we talked. Lol! Seriously though.
Me: What’s wrong?
Me: Come on. Why aren’t we writing?
Brain: Because I don’t want to, that’s why.
Me: What?! We love to write! Why don’t you want to write?!
Brain: I don’t want to write that story.
Me: Oh. Well, what do you want to write?
Brain: The one we were originally going to start the series with, you know, that one.
Me: Oh. Yeah. I agree. We’ll do that then. No problem. Happy?
And it was magic. ^^
This time my brain kept nagging me about what I saw in my head a few weeks ago. And I kept telling myself, “I don’t know what that was.” But my brain just wouldn’t let it go. So I went to bed and asked myself, “Fine, what is it? I’ll do anything. I just want to write.” And when I woke up, I thought I had nothing. I didn’t dream anything special. I didn’t even remember my dream! But during the day that girl I saw a few weeks ago came back to me. And I just watched her. And the next night I asked myself again. And again, I woke up and thought I had nothing. Just the same girl running around in my head during the day doing interesting things. So I watched her some more and then decided to write down the things I knew about her. It was just a few things, but I wondered if I had something. That night I went to bed and asked myself again. And again. Same thing. I spent the morning and afternoon watching the wheels spin around in my head and making a few small notes. And later that night I realized I had a story on my hands and that’s when the excitement started to creep in. Just a little bit. And the next morning, I knew for sure. This is it. This is my new idea. And I know what I have in common with J.K. Rowling now. That spark…though it came at a different time for me…is the same.
Every writer is different…You just gotta listen to yourself.
Random Note: Xena, Warrior Princess is SO cool. ^_^
Quote from Season One, Episode 13: “Art will never take second place to rules and regulations.”