I drive myself crazy! It’s no secret. I’ve never denied it.
Why? you ask. How?
In lots of ways, but mostly it’s these two:
1) When I write, I drive myself nuts. 2) When I’m thinking about writing, I drive myself nuts.
Anyone getting it yet? I drive myself nuts.
Let’s look at #1:
Every once in a while, a writer hits a brick wall. I don’t mean the obstruction blocks inspiration. I mean, they’re midway through a novel, a scene pops up that has a ton happening in it, and they’re damned if they can get what’s in their heads onto the paper/screen.
I’m pretty lucky, because mostly I don’t suffer with this too much.
But when I do? I DO!
And I stamp my feet like a rebuked brat. When I send it off to my writer buddy, or out for critique, each and every time the responses tell me: this needs work/it’s not quite working, I nigh on sit at my laptop with froth leaving my mouth.
Not at those who dared tell me my writing isn’t perfect.
I get so damned frustrated I want to scream.
Move on, is the advice I get from them—nudge that scene aside, take a break from it, and just carry on with the story.
Are they INSANE? I can’t do THAT!
My head is so darn stuck in its ways, it refuses to allow me to move onto the next chapter until the one I’ve sweated like a pig in an electric blanket over is near as damn it to being right.
This is something I need to overcome—if only for my own sanity, which is somewhere on the brink of getting me committed.
What about #2:
You all MUST sympathise with me on this one.
I’m a linear writer. Though and through. The details in #1 confirm this.
So, why the heck does my head conjure up new stories before I’ve finished the one I’m currently working on?
Unfortunately, this is a contradicting writing trait I seem to have adopted from day one of my writing career. When I wrote my 1st novel, I made it halfway through when the scenes for the 2nd novel started to invade my brain.
I made myself wait. I have some discipline.
However, exactly the same thing happened when I hit the halfway mark of novel #2 with the ideas for my 3rd novel.
And then, halfway through that, 50% of Darkness & Light weaved itself in my subconscious to the point it almost drove me nuts (or, even nuttier than I already was).
Darkness & Light was my most disciplined novel from the start. I managed to remain focused—but it had a lot more going on than the previous 3—right until the end.
Then I told myself I’d take a break.
Um … bad idea.
Apparently, I was horrid to live with. I guess I must have been—as Mr B, who’d been looking forward to seeing my eyes without their glazed expression, begged me to write something else if only to lift my crabby mood.
So I did. I wrote a new story for the characters in Darkness & Light, and my 5th novel was born. And during that, the nuttiness started again, with new characters popping into my head.
The only difference was, they’d expanded from being just the characters I’d become intimate with, and into an explosion of babbling voices and tiny little opening scenes and hints of conflicts, and snippets of witty dialogue, and …. (dudes, isn’t that enough?).
And I find this happening to me more and more. Sometimes, I can poke them with my toe and tell them to be quiet. And then other times, they are the boss of me.
That’s what is happening right now.
It’s no secret that I intended to write more for the Holloway Pack Stories. I am, in fact, working on book #3 right now. But when, after figuring out who the MC would be, the opening scene for the 4th book arrived, it banged around so hard inside my skull, my eyes darn near wobbled from their sockets.
So I HAD to write it down whilst it was still fresh.
But now my head keeps wandering to that … and it can’t, dammit! Because without book #3, there can be no book #4 (that’s as much as I’m willing to say on that).
I don’t even want to admit to how many potential short/novella/novel openings I have saved for return visits. But each one of them pings around in my mind on occasion—sometimes every day, and they drive me crazy.
For some reason, the more I write, the more ideas pop into my head, and disciplining myself seems like an impossible mission.
What about you and your writing methods (or lack of)? What drives YOU crazy about you?