Saturday, 15 March 2014

Not Quitting

This is my "don't know what to write about but I'm gonna make something up" post. Not too much is happening right now in my life and for that I am hugely grateful; while moving at the speed of light can be exciting it is also utterly exhausting.

I was involved in a little launch of a new/old service that can now be found on a certain e-tailer that is loved and hated in (sometimes) equal measure. At times it felt like we were never going to get there, but we all kept our heads down and kept trucking on. Two weeks on since launch and the trials are still pouring in but at least it feels like I've reached the end of a very long road and can again start thinking about the future and where I want to be in 6 months/1 year/5 years. The good thing is that my mini goals I set myself for the first 12 weeks of the year are still very doable and in progress. It's been nice to have a chance to reboot the determination.

I am now writing more;  however the short story is fighting me at every turn. No matter what direction I try to take it the story just doesn't flow. The characters stand about, sighing a lot and looking at me expectantly. This is not the first time this has happened to me but it is the first time that I haven't given up. Rather than abandon this thorn-ridden, rage inducing tale in favour of a shiny new idea, I'm struggling on. This in turn has brought me to experiences I have not had so far when writing stories. The act of giving up has prevented me from reaching this awareness before and I could kick myself for being so easily dissuaded from the rocky road.

I am now at the point where I have recognised the core problem, and it isn't the story. It's me. No, not in a "I'm rubbish and will never be good at this" kind of way, but in a "huh, I'm trying to write something that really is not me". I've been trying to shoehorn this thing into a genre that I like but that does not reflect me in any real way. So the story is soulless and without direction.

To fix this I'm rejigging the whole plot and changing a lot of features of the main character to bring more of me into the story. This may also involve bringing in a fair amount of creepy spookiness that was not otherwise in the straight laced Science Fiction idea I had originally. I'm thinking of it as embracing the darkness, and it's taught me to not set out to write a particular style but to stick with what feels natural to me. It's much the same as trying to find your 'voice'; you can search everywhere but ultimately it's just you and your words. They can only ever be your words, and there's your voice.

I think I may have found my voice. Turns out, it's a lot more twisted than I thought it was.

To anyone else struggling with creative endeavours I highly recommend not giving up. Keep at that project that's driving you insane and that you're starting to hate. You might be surprised what you find out about yourself in the process.

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