Many writers burn fast and furious, writing with the power of a thousand suns from the start to the end of their book. I don’t do this. It’s not because I don’t want to—I do. I really, really do. Seriously, ask my girlfriend. I beat myself up when I spend time doing casual hobby stuff and not writing. So why do I do it? I do it because thats how I write, and even though I dislike it, I have to admit that there is nothing wrong with it. It is simply how the beast that is my creativity functions. My brain and subconscious need time to puzzle together the pieces of my story as I write. My characters need time to speak to me. The story doesn’t always just fly together before my eyes. It often requires that I nurture it and allow it to grow on its own.
I often times hate this, and I’m dealing with a bout of it right now. Between some personal things going on my life, the holidays (I find them INCREDIBLY stressful), and the fact that my creativity has been everywhere BUT on my story, I’ve been dealing with an almost grinding halt on the writing of Transmuted. I get home from work and I can tell myself that I should write, that I want to write, but I just don’t. I find that I’d rather cook dinner, work on painting a model, spend time mindlessly staring at the TV with my girlfriend, play some of the long list of games I’ve acquired but not played (thanks, Steam), or even clean up the apartment. My brain just does not want to write, and while it makes me crazy when I focus on it I have to accept that in the end, it’s okay.
Let me tell you why.
This is not a race. I’m not competing against all the other authors out there. No one is judging me based on the fact that I’ve only written two thousand words in the past week. And there isn’t a little green goblin sitting on my shoulder tracking the amount of words per minute I’m putting out when I do manage to focus. Regardless of how much I feel like should be putting words on paper, I feel just as adamantly that if I force myself to write when my focus is terrible and I’d rather be doing something else, the end product is going to be horrible and I’ll just have to go back and rewrite it again later.
Taking all that into consideration, I’ve decided that if my creativity wants to be expressed through the bristles of a paint brush, that’s how I should express it. If my brain wants to shut off and recharge its batteries while I stare at the television mindlessly, I should let it. If I want to sacrifice countless members of the Kerbal race because for some daft reason they decided I should be in charge of their space program, I should oblige them. When my brain is ready to write again the words I’ve already written will still be there. This is not a race.