Monday, April 23, 2007

Writer's Funk

I'm in a writer's funk right now. I like it, but I'm not sure everybody else does. My apologies to my partner. He's very independent, but even so, having me in a useless mental state probably doesn't do much for our social climate. He didn't get dinner until 8:30 last night (I'm usually the cook; he's the dishwasher), and we haven't been skiing or kayaking much at all on his free time. Same goes for my friends: my apologies if I seem a bit flaky right now. It's because I'm, well, being flaky. It's just hard to wrap my brain around anything besides work, and my motivation to do anything else has all but evaporated.

What do I mean by a funk? In my case, it's the state of mind that comes after working at the nuts and bolts of something for a very long time, when all of those disparate ideas finally begin to fuse and make sense. I can't say it's excitement. This work is too hard for that. Mostly it's a growing sense of focus and a stronger will to keep going.

Maybe it's a little like parenting: My kid has been equal parts wonderful and challenging of late — maybe less wonderful than challenging — but when he goes to sleep and I have a chance to see him in his most benign state, I feel reassured that I'm in this for the long term, and that I wouldn't have it any other way.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I'm Not Gone

Just so you know, Toiler is still alive. Nothing tragic has happened to him. In fact, things are going more-or-less well -- or maybe I should say that they're going more-and-less well.

I am still in the midst of learning how to write a plot novel, as I mentioned in several previous posts. Don't be surprised if I remain at this stage for another year or two. My current story isn't moving forward as quickly as I might like. (That's the less part.) But it is moving forward, and I'm still quite happy with it.

I've been able to hobble along without destroying this one the way I destroyed the last one. In other words, I think that I've been able to morph the story in the right ways to achieve the right ends without letting it outgrow me or go off in some weird direction. I also seem to be learning quite a lot about, not just writing, but also better methods of thinking. (That's the more part.)

To give you an example of what I mean, one of my biggest discoveries recently has been the danger of ordered lists. They can really get in the way of certain kinds of thinking. Odd, huh?

Anyway, I think I'm starting to get the hang of this art business. I'm in a good space. My plot is coming together, I like the characters, I like the setting, and I can't see anything about the story that might prove too difficult for a beginning novelist. All in all, I couldn't be much happier.