Gentle readers, today I began the long climb back toward the sun. If you follow my Twitter (@grshirer), you’ll know that I’ve been moaning all week about an inability to write. I hit the nadir in my creative cycle and spent the last few days sort of wallowing.
During this time, I did write but it was a laborious process. I wasn’t enjoying myself and I certainly didn’t enjoy anything that I had written. For a little while, I switched gears, pulling out old stories that I’d set aside. I had hoped that a fresh direction would trip the cycle, push me past the black wallows and energize me again. That didn’t happen.
Nothing was working.
So, I put the writing aside and did some other things. I went to the South Carolina State Museum and saw the Titanic Artefacts Exhibition. While I was there, I toured the connected art gallery, where they were showing a collection of abstract art by local artists. I cleaned out the room, taking a bagful of books to a used bookstore for credit. Ironically, as soon as I’d done that I went back to the bookstore to prowl the aisles, looking for something to read.
I’ve been reading a mystery, Death by Darjeeling, by Laura Childs. I’m reading it in slow bites, as the prose is lush and deliciously descriptive.
This past weekend I took a road trip, driving to the Harrah’s casino in Cherokee, NC. There, I lost entirely too much money, considered staying overnight, then nixed that idea and returned home.
As I was heading home, southbound on Interstate 26, in the middle of the night, I could see a storm trying to pull itself together ahead of me. Clouds flared pink and amber as lightening leapt inside them. The storm kept pace with me as I drove home, and if it never happened, watching the lightening illuminate the clouds was entertaining.
I felt like that storm. Fragmented, unable to get its act together, but still full of energy. My skull was buzzing. Thoughts were starting to spark.
The writers block that had plagued me began to erode.
Today, I sat and reread the last page or so of my sequel to Dawnwind: Last Man Standing. Something about it had been bothering me, something I couldn’t really identify. This morning, the cause of my irritation suddenly leapt out at me.
I made a change and it was suddenly there. Not just the impulse to write but the desire. My fingers twitched and I suddenly knew which way the story was going to move.
So, making a mental note regarding that direction, I closed that file and opened this one. Why aren’t I working on the sequel? Haven’t I pissed and moaned about it enough this week? I should be bent over the keyboard, pounding away at it like a madman. Shouldn’t I?
The impulse is there. I’ve started the climb up the mountain. But, right now, my resources feel a bit thin.
No, now I’ll force myself to be still. To wait. To let that tension grow until it is unbearable. Then, and only then, will I release it.
When I do release it, the sensation will be better than eating chocolate or having sex. It will be more satisfying than racing down a deserted highway in the Southwest at a hundred miles an hour or telling someone you despise that you wouldn’t piss down their throat if their heart was on fire.
It is something to look forward to.