Losing Direction

Okay, well, I’ve certainly not been on here in a long time.

I could give lots of reasons, but ultimately, I did not have much to say.  I did not have any forward momentum.

Eventually, I forgot about the blog entirely.

But, I went to DragonCon last year and attending some workshops.  They lit a fire under me and when I returned, I decided I had to do something.

In order to use the advice and tips I learned, I felt like I’d have to rewrite my old novel from scratch, and I wasn’t prepared for that.  So I opted for the ‘easier’ course.  I decided to write a new book.

I’d had an idea floating around in my mind since January/February of 2010.  I’d written a 6K word scene and even toyed with making it into a webcomic.  Though that fell through, I still had the extra material I’d written for the comic, so I decided to use that as a starting place.

I wrote the book in 54 days.  I’ve never worked so fast in my life.

Since then, I’ve been editing and fiddling with it.  Some friends have read over it, I’ve put the first chapter up for review on a literary forum and got some good (and not so good) feedback.  But, as I’ve done more of this, I’ve noticed something about my state of mind.

While I was working on the book, a lot of different things started really ‘perking up’ in my life. Even my dull day job wasn’t so bad as I wrote up a storm. All kinds of insecurities and mental hogwash seemed to fade away to nothing while the writing continued.

Then I finished the book and finished the first edit and now, as I pluck through the dreaded, soul-destroying rewrites and additional edits, I find all those insecurities and low feelings creeping back.

I didn’t associate the ‘good place’ with the act of writing, but I’m beginning to wonder. Was it that sense of accomplishment, that high, that made everything seem better? Or is it simply that I had a good routine and now that its broken, I’m floundering?

Talking to some others, I’ve learned this experience isn’t unique.  But that makes it no less odd.  I think it has to do with the difference between following one’s passions and, well, not.  That’s what made everything seem better, or at least gave me the strength to deal with the stuff that was not good.

I’m contemplating a major shift in focus.  It’s scary and thrilling at the same time.  As I do, I am beginning to feel some of that fire returning.  Part of that is a return to blogging.  I may even start tweeting, who knows.

I’ve felt lost for weeks now.  Maybe this shift will be the right thing, the right direction.  I certainly hope so.

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7 thoughts on “Losing Direction

  1. Chook says:

    Stick it out if you can. The return of the dark-and-twisties is probably because you’ve stopped making ‘progress’. When you were roughing out the first draft and chugging away putting metaphorical pen to paper you were making progress in leaps and bounds – expressing yourself and having your say. Now you have to take that self expression and hammer it from round peg to square-ish so it’ll fit the relevant hole, that can feel like either treading water or taking steps backwards. That said it’s often worth it, the brain-public filter is a valuable thing, and having the opportunity to plug it in and use it is always helpful – you wouldn’t want every single thing that pops into your head on paper as concrete proof that you’re secretly a bit of a mentalist, just like the rest of us :-p

    G’luck with it though. xx

    • Thanks hon! I will stick it out, if for no other reason than I do not feel like I have any other choice. But you have definitely hit the nail on the head (to continue the hammer metaphor).

      Sounds like you are speaking from experience.

  2. Aaron White says:

    I’m confused by one passage: “Then I finished the book and finished the first edit and now, as I pluck through the dreaded, soul-destroying rewrites and additional edits…”

    How do you finish the book before finishing edits and rewrites? Do you mean you finished a first draft?

  3. Aaron White says:

    Sorry, that came out awkwardly. I’m just confused about whether or not you’re still writing the book. Anyway, I hope you can find a long-term way out of the doldrums!

    • Micah Blackburn says:

      I’ve finished the first (second by this point) draft. I guess what I meant was that I’ve finished what I find to be the most creative and engaging process, getting it all out onto paper.

      Editing, to me anyway, is an entirely different beast. It does not engage me the way that the initial storytelling does. I know its absolutely necessary, but I just can’t get excited by it. Sure, occasionally I’ll have a new flash of inspiration for a change of direction or new scene, but typically, it just hurts. So I view them as very different endeavors.

  4. Aaron White says:

    They say Flaubert spent a whole day trying to decide whether to take a comma out. Although maybe he was just dicking around. Not that I’d know anything about that.

    Have you written any short stories? I’m no expert, but I suspect getting a couple-five shorts published in fiction mags makes for career-boosting exposure. I’m shopping material around the mags myself.

    • It’s funny you mention that. I’ve not had any published, but I’m going to start writing some (more), for exposure sake, as well as to have something to publish on this blog (fingers crossed).

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