Monday, August 23, 2010

The Agony and the Ecstacy

Right now I'm in that fuzzy, foggy land that all writers pass through. It is the land of in between. I'm not working on edits (for the moment,) nor am I drafting a novel. I'm not outlining any ideas. In fact, I've put the two I had onto the far back burner. So right now, basically, I'm floating in the void.

There are two ways to look at this place:

1. I've got nothin'.

No ideas that I like. Nothing to work on. My fingers itch, my head swirls with detached scenes and random voices. But I've yet to grasp anything and say, "Yes! This is what I'll work on." I sit down, open my laptop . . . and log onto Twitter.

However, like I said, this sis a place of conflicting emotions. Another part of me says:

2. The world is my oyster!

Do you ever watch a great movie, or read an amazing book, and say, "I'd love to write a story like that."? I do. All the time. Well right now, I could write any of those. I could write a sweeping dystopian love story, or a heart-wrenching magic realism story, a quirky and funny contemporary novel, or a dark and epic fantasy. Anything I want! I can let my imagination soar! OMG, I'm going to write the BEST. NOVEL. EVER!!!

I just need the plot.

Oh yeah . . . I don't have one.

(Go back to 1.)

So you ever feel this way? That you have a million ideas, but not really anything at all? A million stories you'd love to write, but no basic plot or concept to grab onto?

It really is frustratingly wonderful and wonderfully frustrating.


Jessie Oliveros said...

When I started writing I guess you can say I was there because I wasn't working on any ONE novel. Next week marks the one year anniversary of working on my ONE novel. (No it's not done. Leave me alone.) However, I'd say it sounds more frustratingly wonderful, where you are right now. Are you still sending queries out for your Searcher novel?

Elle Strauss said...

I have more things on the go than I can finish right now. I just finished edits on my current wip, so I'm in that place of now what? It's good to have space to focus on other things that keep getting left on hold, but I still feel a sense of hollowness when I'm not actively working on something.

Melissa said...

I felt like that after I watched Inception a few weeks ago. I was inspired! Then I got home and looked at my finished draft and reality set in. I want to fix it like right now, but then again I want to work on something new (and exciting). It's such a dilemma:)

Renee Collins said...

Jessie-Alas, no. Searcher taking a "rest," which is only frustrating, and not wonderful at all.

Don't worry about taking your time with that first novel. It took me a year and a half to write the first draft alone of my first. So you've already beat me. :)

Elle-Exactly. That hollowness is the definite downside of not having a project. I feel like I'm just drifting.

Melissa-Oh man, I want to see that movie!

And yes, it is a dilemma! The "new" always seems more exciting. Maybe that's why I'm nervous to pick an idea and go with it. They all seem good at first. I'm hesitating because I want to make sure I pick a truly good one.

Renee Collins said...

Jessie-Make that Searcher *is* taking a rest. (I swear, I haven't turned into a caveman.)

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Ooooh! I JUST got off that train! I just barely started my new TOP SECRET novella. Exciting stuff, I'm telling you. You should take this time to read lots of books and get all that stuff done you can't get done when you're working on a novel. :)

Miriam S. Forster said...

I was there a few weeks ago while trying to figure out what YA to write next. It was fun and frustrating at the same time.

What I did was play around with ideas I already had and tried combining them with each other, different settings, etc. When I hit the right combination, it just clicked. I won't start the planning for a few months, but at least I know what I'm going to be working on!

Enjoy the process and good luck!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I have to work for ideas. No fair.