This is going to sound strange, but I’ve felt sort of closed down in my head for the last few weeks. Tony called it ‘being self-indulgent’ in a comment 😀 , and I suppose that’s true, but also not. It’s not that I have sat there simpering about it, except in blog form when I’ve tried to write about it to make sense of it. I just haven’t been able to get past that big block in my head – until yesterday.
I spent most of yesterday evening writing on a new story. That’s the first fresh idea I have had in a long time, and when I get these ideas I always just dump words on the screen. I don’t edit; I don’t correct spelling; I have to say that I don’t actually quite see the words. The words form up later, when I read back what I’ve written, and then it becomes an analytical process.
A character appear; a skeletal thing with just a drive and a goal. Someone wants something, and wants that something quite badly. It may be an abstract goal, or a very concrete goal. It may be about reconciling him or herself with some nebulous society, or it might be about escaping the jaws of a lion that’s hunting the character. I become that person, and the word-dumping is just the transcript of what is going on in my head when I am that person.
When we came home from our window shopping for a sofa, I sort of disappeared from the world for a few hours. Mark said he was happy seeing me like that, and I have to say I’m happy being like that. I’m happy I finally could get into the zone and write again.
After about five thousand words of story, I looked up, and just realised that it was silent in the house. Mark had gone to bed, and the dogs had gone to their baskets for the night, and it was one a.m. in the morning, and I had a character and a story, and I had my mojo back. I was beginning to fear that it had gone.
Or maybe it was just all the stresses that has been that have bottled up in me that turned off my creative tap, and the relative ease that’s been lately has finally unscrewed the faucet. Or maybe it’s because I feel like I’m beginning to make progress with learning chords on the piano. Maybe it’s the muscle memory of my years of writing that’s kicked in.
I don’t know, but I’m very happy and content today. I’ve birthed something that is going to be special, I feel, and once again I can jump into someone else’s head for a while and try out the new things I’ll find in there. It feels like I’m back from a vacation, and I suppose that I needed a break from my own chaotic head.
And isn’t that what this process is all about? Taking on a new skin and body and mind, and taking it out for a little spin, before recklessly trying to break that thing in order to see how that character works. If the character breaks, you may have a tragedy. If not, you have a ‘enduring adversity’ kind of thing. Or if the character slips on a banana peel you have a comedy.
The only problem is that I had four hours of sleep, and I’m utterly knackered, and I haven’t even gone to school yet. If it doesn’t rain, it pours. Right? 😀