Monday, January 24, 2011
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Is the presence of longing inside a writer’s heart essential to writing fiction? Is the faint melancholia created by things we wish for, dream of, what puts the magic into make-believe?
Those questions have been prodding at my subconscious for some time now. The prod turned into a painful jolt when, after a summer of not writing fiction, I attempted my third NaNo in a row – and did not complete the required 50,000 words.
To tell the truth, I completed barely 5,000 words. I still don’t know quite what was wrong. I sat at the keyboard for hours. I allowed myself to leap between plots. I allowed myself to write endings before I wrote beginnings! But nothing worked. Words appeared on the screen, crafted strings of emotionless sentences, crisp-edged two-dimensional characters without character.
The spark wasn’t there.
At the time I attributed it to lack of time, to the stress of everyday life, to pregnancy hormones. Yet none of that ever affected my writing before… (okay, I haven’t been PREGNANT before, but you know)
Now I’m wondering if my life has become a little too full. Instead of a rather uneventful life that I spiced up by constantly spinning tales of adventure and romance, I started to live all those things I dreamed about. Now, I have a husband (who I’m very much in love with), a baby on the way (who is wanted very very much), multiple jobs, college, travel… I don’t have time to dream!
And is that the problem?
I pose the question to you all reading this. Has this happened to you? Do you think writers’ best work is influenced by what’s happening (or what’s not happening) in their lives? Or (as many great writers believe) should good fiction be utterly unconnected to circumstances in writers’ lives?
Share your thoughts, please! I’m eager to read them!
(oh yes, and if anyone has suggestions for how to overcome a fiction dry spell…please do not refrain from suggesting!)