Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Writing Itch

Shhhh... I have a secret. I'm writing a new novel. I'm not sure why I'm doing this because I can't think of a worse time to start in on another novel, which will probably wind up like my last novel: rejected by an agent and then reduced to hiding in my file cabinet, shamed and bruised. I start the Fall semester of Grad school in three weeks, plus I'm gearing up to launch the newest title from Medusa's Muse (Punk Rock Saved My Ass). I should be preparing myself mentally and organizationally for a hectic Autumn, not plunging into another 300 page writing project. But I've got that itch and when the Muse starts scratching there's nothing you can do.

That's the problem with creativity; it is rarely rational. I think too many people try to force it to be. We get busy with our jobs, our kids, our ideas, and learn to ignore that annoying, persistent itch to create something. And I think our expectations hold us up, too. If what we create isn't GOOD, or WORTHY, or APPROPRIATE FOR PUBLIC VIEWING, we think it's worthless.

I disagree. My new novel may end up in a box like my last novel, but the outcome isn't the fun part for me. Writing is fun. Creating a whole new world one word at a time and peopling it with characters who I am now getting to know, that's the fun part. I have a general idea of what will happen, but my characters often change their mind mid-write, forcing me to chase after them. Writing this book will take a long time, but that's okay. Not only do I have school work on the horizon, but I am also working on a couple of short stories and outlining another play. Nothing may be finished before I graduate, but who cares?

If you see me huddled over my lap top and typing furiously at our local cafe, letting my coffee go cold, ignoring my homework, and generally looking dazed and wild, you'll know my Muse is in control. When she says scratch, I must obey. To hell with reason. Let me create!

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