In theory, writing is easy. Stories show up in your thoughts and taunt you with paths leading into misty woods where excitement lies. Or you see someone do something and think, that man needs a story.
That happened to me once and led to my first sale at Ellora’s Cave, but the places my mind went with him are too steamy for this blog! (If you want to know, check out Celtic Rhythm by Ari Thatcher, in Ellora’s Cavemen Flavors of Ecstasy Vol. 2. But it’s not suitable for work. Or when your mom’s visiting. Just sayin’.)
One night recently I saw an old photo in a local history book, read the caption beneath it, and suddenly had an entire series take shape in my mind. The heroine, the hero who has to make some life-altering choices in order to have her in the end. Her brothers, who will of course require their own stories after Book One.
It’s a blessing, right?
Not so much. Not when there are deadlines looming and edits coming in and the lawn needs mowing…again! Didn’t I just do that last week?
New ideas are gremlins, I’ve decided. All those words they sap from your system end up not missing from your word count on the story you have to finish yesterday. My characters sit in the room where I left them, their mouths open and minds blank, awaiting the words I’m supposed to give them.
“No, wait,” I insist. “You’re real. You guys talk it out, I’ll write it down and make note of your expression, and the way you keep polishing that spot on your boot so you don’t have to look her in the eye.”
And they say nothing.
I try another tact. Pulling out a notepad and pen, I lean back in my chair, donning a flimsy German accent in my best Freud impression. “So, tell me about your childhood.”
Nobody moves. Steam rises from their teacups. A horse whinnies outside. Another afternoon passes in my writing cave.
I see that meme that says something to the effect of some people hear voices and are called mad, yet others her them and are called writers. That’s so true. I just wish they would talk to me on demand.
Do you find yourself distracted at work, or working at your hobby? What do you do to get back on track?
You can visit me at my websitehttp://aileenfish.com or follow me on Facebook to watch the ebb and flow of stories and the panic when a deadline nears. With four novellas due out in the next three months, I’ll be doing lots of celebrating in the near future. I’m always looking for people to share the fun!