Thursday, August 4, 2011

Post-Project Depression

I wonder if other authors suffer from post-project depression? Last night I finished something I have been working on for over 10 months and today I'm feeling a bit lost. The thing was beginning to become a real monkey on my back, but I found as I neared the end my enthusiasm and excitement for the project actually GREW. So I finished it with a flourish, dumped all the pieces into a single file, hit SEND and off it went. Yay! But now, although I have other things I have committed to and should be working on, I don't know what to do with myself!

So, what are these other obligations of which I speak? Can't say other than one is an undead theme and one a sort of cyberpunk thing. I have a strong, solid idea for the undead story, and should have started working on it already. Maybe today.... The cyberpunk thing not so much. This is brand new territory for me, so its going to take a little more effort and thought. I have a steampunk idea that I've been playing with for a long time, but that isn't quite the same thing, is it? I'm thinking maybe of returning to one of the baddies from an earlier story of mine for the cyberpunk story. I think it would work great, but who knows? We'll see. Also, it would be fun to do something completely different with something I've already done successfully once (why do I suddenly hear John Cleese saying "And now for something complete different. The penguin on top of your television is about to explode"?). There is also at least one other story I should write very soon for a book I REALLY, REALLY want to be in. I've already submitted something which I like a LOT, but I'm not completely confident its what the editor is looking for.

The problem with all of these commitments I have is that writing is an odd thing for me. I'm not prolific, and I have no sort of "work ethic" when it comes to writing. I can't force myself to just sit down and write. I envy those authors who can make themselves sit at a keyboard every day, on a regular schedule, and treat it like a JOB. I can't do that. It has to "come" to me. And my muse is a fickle bitch! Sometimes she burns hot and hard, and other times she's colder that an Eskimo's ass! (With my sincerest apologies to native peoples of the far north!) Some days I'm lucky to peck out a dozen coherent words, but then other days its like I'm possessed by a spirit and doing some weird automatic writing shit! Those days! Those glorious days I can crank out hundreds or even thousands of words without pause or conscious effort. And if an idea just isn't working for me after a couple tries I generally consign it to a oblivion with a tap of the DELETE key or by dumping it into a file on my computer labeled FICTION IN PROGRESS. Yeah, and there's stuff in there dating back to the 1980's, including an ill-fated vampire novel which I started BEFORE the big vampire craze of the 80's and 90's. I'm so SICK of the little bloodsucking fuckers now I'll likely never touch the story again. And I think it was a damn good one, and a different take still on the vampire. I resigned my vampire novel to its fate years ago when I saw -- honestly -- a book in a bookshop about vampire twin detectives! Yes! A piece of shit like that actually got PUBLISHED, and presumably PURCHASED (at least by the author's mom and siblings). Jump forward a couple decades and we have angsty, glittery vampires and I know for sure that its game over. Put a fucking STAKE in them and turn the lights off on your way out!

But I digress. Appropriate, maybe, as I feel like my life right now is one big digression. I don't know. Maybe that's a good thing? All I know is that I should get working on my undead story and thinking about my cyberpunk story, and do something else for that OTHER book I REALLY, REALLY want to be in. Wish it was easier, but then if it were I guess I'd be writing about angsty, glittery vampires.

Until next time from the House of Secrets,
I'll give you fish,
I'll give you candy,
I'll give you everything I have in my hands.

1 comment:

  1. You know, a famous writer (I forget who) once said that his process for writing was to, "stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood appear on my forehead." I know it's that way for me. I think what I'm trying to say is that anyone who is doing anything creative suffers to some extent. And don't let those writers who sit down and "work at it" everyday fool you - think about how much they throw out of place in the works-in-progress file. You're doing better than you think.