There are many different kinds of writing issues. There is a lack of ideas, lack of motivation, lack of inspiration. There is exhaustion. There’s the self-doubt monster. We can’t forget about him. Write long enough and you will run into every single kind of brick wall there is – some you may not have even thought existed. They exist.
The funny thing about a lack of ideas is that we probably don’t ever actually have a lack of ideas. We have a lack of ideas that we think will work. A lack of ideas that we think are not super stupid. But we can probably always think of something. Anything. Sometimes that’s all we need to find the idea we’re looking for – just something else to focus on to relax our brains so the right idea can wedge itself out into the open. That’s nice imagery right there. 🙂
One of the slumps I fell into a few years back was a lack of non-vampire ideas. I’ve mentioned this, of course. When I lamented over having nothing to write about, I truly felt like I had no ideas. I would say, “I have nothing to write about.” And that’s not entirely true – I just didn’t have anything I actually wanted to write or anything that was working. Because I almost can’t even watch a movie or tv show or anything anymore without getting an idea for something. It doesn’t matter the genre. But that idea I have for a crime thriller starring my good friend Leonardo DiCaprio (haha) – I’m not actually going to write that thing. That’s not my speed. I wouldn’t make it three chapters into that before my head exploded from all the things I don’t know that I would need to know to pull that off.
One thing related to the vampire thing is the rather interesting genre issue I ran into after setting them aside. It was like my vampires were the only lifeline to my roots that I had left. Looking back, it’s really like I had completely forgotten what I used to love to read and watch on TV and see in the movie theatre. It was Desperate Housewives and autobiographies, and I when I went to the movies, I saw things like, Music & Lyrics. And I love all of those things. That movie is awesome, and I have extremely broad tastes. But something was missing. And I didn’t even realize it.
Luckily, right after I finished “Chains of Destiny” (which was this very interesting and frustrating mess of wild, high concept fantasy), I had someone literally bribe me into having a coffee date with her. I’m not super into people. I don’t go out of my way to make new friends – I know you’re all shocked to hear that. Lol! But since she was so insistent about it, convinced through talking to my family that we had all this stuff in common, I consented to trying it one time.
You know how that goes. She turned out to be great and encouraged me to get back on a paranormal track with my writing. As I mentioned in previous posts, between the “From Out of the Ashes” fiasco and vampire book failure and the “no paranormal” nonsense going around the literary world, I was beaten down, and not only that, I was convinced I couldn’t pull it off anyway. But I decided to try it. Why not, right?
So, she’s really been a big part in my journey to get myself back on track. And you know how the universe likes to reward progress. I suddenly started getting all of these signs, pointing me back to paranormal. I was quite literally slapped in the face with it all. I didn’t know what was going on at that time, but in hindsight, the path is clear.
Three years of fighting with myself and my writing, and it’s like, I never left. But I can look back on the stories I’ve written and see the struggles I went through with them – but hey, I couldn’t have find my way back without them either. 2013 was the worst year. 2014 I was trying so hard, but I was still holding back. I was still scared. And then I didn’t write anything last year. It’s definitely been a battle. But fighting with genre is one writing battle that I can say I’m not fighting anymore.
On to the next battle, right. ^_^
Some people are lucky in that they never have to fight with themselves about what genre to write. But I can’t ever say I didn’t try something else. I tried contemporary and high concept and YA and romance and historical. I think it’s made me a stronger writer, to go through all those stories and figure out why they didn’t work or why I didn’t like them. No regrets. 🙂 I can just tell a huge difference in how I feel about my writing now compared to three years ago. I really felt like I would never write something that I felt really good about ever again.
Someone please remind me of this when the rejections start rolling in and I’m crying. 🙂