Posts Tagged ‘writing fiction’

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At Disneyland and Wondering about Writing

February 12, 2009

Vasant and I sat in the Blue Bayou (the restaurant inside Pirate of the Caribbean) and talked about my trouble writing fantasy for nearly two hours today. If you’re going to have a talk about creativity, talking about it at a table right on the edge of the moonlit swamp is the place to do it! I wrote about my problems writing a specific genre a couple weeks ago in a post called “A MESS”, but to be less vague, the genre I have difficulty writing is fantasy. It’s not that I don’t like fantasy. I do. I love it. But there’s something subconsciously blocking me from producing any works of fiction in that genre at all. And the crazy part is- I’m finishing up a novel that has nothing to do with it. A novel I’m incredibly proud of and excited about. BUT… now that I’ve id’ed this problem in me, I can’t get it out of my head. I keep thinking there is a better writer within my subconscious that is being blocked by this mysterious hangup. Why would I love fantasy, have an incredible imagination, but feel frustrated and fogged in whenever I try to write it? And it’s not that I’m trying to write it and I’m just no good at it. I can’t write it. I can’t get more than a paragraph into it- I all of a sudden get angry, ditch the idea and walk away from the paper or laptop. It’s dumb.

I feel like when I can figure out what this problem is, and breakthrough with a completed short story in this genre, I’ll be able to get to parts of my imagination that for whatever reason have been blocked off. I don’t know why I blocked them off, but I know I have and I’m not resting until I solve this problem, open this door and write a fantasy story.

Interesting thought occurred to me today: how I write about normal life, no fantasy, only a little sci-fi… and how it doesn’t represent ME. I’m not normal. I’m a very odd person. If you’re supposed to write what you know…? Maybe I’ve taken that too literally. Maybe it’s not write what you know as much as it should be, write WHO you are. Not in a Mary-Jane kinda way, but in a “be true to thine own self” kinda way.

Anyway, Disneyland is an incredible place to ruminate on all these thoughts. I have an idea for a story, I just have to get rid of the barriers in my head and heart that keep me from writing it. We’ll see if, during the rest of this trip, I have any luck.

Some Disneyland pictures:

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I was so upset- my camera died right before he uttered the words, “You could always try MY way out…”

Recharging it for tomorrow. Hope the rain doesn’t spoil chances of getting good pictures. I so wanted to break in my new Nikon on this trip.

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A MESS

January 20, 2009

Growling at myself today. I have a million things to do and I can’t stop to focus on any of them for more than a minute.

I’m taking a break from revision on the book to finish a short story I’ve been playing with since the fall. I am in love with the concept of this story, but something comes and blocks the actual production of it everytime I sit down to work on it. So I distract myself with blogging, twittering, facebooking and then get up and do something like laundry or cook.

Now some stories are just bad ideas and I talk myself out of finishing them because they’re better prompts and exercises than they are anything else.

But some stories are great, and the reason I have trouble with them is not because I’m at a dead end, but more like a locked door. There’s some psychological key to the door and I’ve got to find out what it has to do with, why it’s there at all, and what it will take for me to solve the problem in my head so I can get through it.

Sometimes it’s as easy as solving a plot problem. But this one is a “me” problem. I know the reason why the story isn’t flowing. It’s a genre I’m uncomfortable with. I know that’s why it’s important for me to take the time to complete this short story. But what I don’t know is why I have this problem to begin with. Why on earth would this genre, which I love reading and watching, be difficult for me to write? When I sit down to write it, something inside me squirms and feels miserable, almost guilty.

I’ve got to solve this. This story needs to come out, and I feel like when it does, it’s going to be like opening the cork on a good wine that was forgotten in a dark and musty cellar.

That or it will be like opening the top of a septic tank.

Whichever, I need to find out why I love this genre but feel like I’m barred from creating anything in it myself.