My words flow freely
Through time and space and sadness
Like sand through fingers
I don’t exactly remember when I wrote this haiku. I do know that it’s ironic, because, currently, the words aren’t flowing all the well for me. I’m on my Freewrite, that I pulled from off the shelf behind my bed and charged for the first time in a really long while. Its dustiness a symbol of my lack of energy to get Ocularum finished (or my craft paper for that matter).
I have to recommit to the routine though. As writers, we can’t control our output, only the time we put into writing. So obvious, so often stated, and yet something that has to be consciously remembered sometimes.
I am, when that happens, drawn to think back to Steven Pressfield’s War of Art and about my own personal areas of resistance and how I can overcome them. Back to basics for me. Free writing, prompts, and the wisdom of Al Watt.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the novel writing process, resistance can hit you. I’m nearing the final stretch on Ocularum and trying to break through to that last final push. I don’t even know that I’m distracted by outside issues. I’m just trying to get my characters from A to B. I know where they need to go. I just need to get them there.
I just finished Jeff VanderMeer’s Veniss Underground. As far as plots go, it was a thin premise. The world-building was amazing, however, and VanderMeer has a special skill in drawing the senses of the reader into the novels. Particularly scent. Octavia Butler excels at touch, but VanderMeer makes my nose wrinkle when I read, and I find that so inspiring.
It’s a reminder that I have to translate the world in my head into a sensory experience for my reader. This will probably be enahnced in editing, as I’m desperately trying to get it out of my head in an order that makes sense at this point. In other words, reviving this haiku from my notes app on my phone and clacking away on the Freewrite have unearthed 350 pretty useless words from my head, so yay?
Still, 350 words about not my next novel are better than no words not about my next novel when the alternative is no words at all. Alright, I suppose I’m done whining for now. Time to put this typing gadget to use on more directly useless words (i.e., prompts).
UPDATE: I did a timed free write and at now have a roadmap for the next probably 15,000 words of Ocularum, so it worked!
Photography Credit: Unsplash. I, sadly, didn’t take this one.