Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Well, now. I have plenty of ideas in my head. I know exactly where I want the story to go. My characters are chattering away, so much so I wish they would shut up so I could get some sleep. Everything is rolling along up until the moment I sit down in front of the computer. And then everything screeches to a halt.
In the first fourteen months after I contracted my first book, I wrote eleven books. In this last year, I completed one. One. Over the last few days, I've pondered what possibly is different between that first year and the years since. And I think I've figured it out.
Many authors write in a solitary, almost hermit-like environment. They zealously guard their writing up to the moment they submit it to a publisher or beta reader.
I cannot function that way. Without the input of other writers around me, my creativity dries up and withers. I've noticed my best writing is accomplished the week after I have a chat and share excerpts from my books.
So how does this information relate? When I sold my first book, I was assigned an editor who had a forum for her group of writers where any of them could engage in daily conversation with the rest of the group. Several of us posted bits and pieces we were working on. Brainstorming was a frequent activity. We could share queries about real experience in various jobs or events. In short--it was exactly the type of atmosphere that I thrived in.
Near the end of the second year I was with that publisher, I was assigned a different editor. There was no such forum available and though some of my former cohorts and I tried to keep in touch, the end result was not successful.
Now, I find myself in a dead swamp.
I have a wonderful critique partner. But the creativity part is not her responsibility. And frankly, it takes more than two people to generate the ENERGY needed for creative brainstorming. This long-term brainstorming is not accomplished at conferences or critique groups or writers retreats because those are all limited in scope. All of those energize in the short-term.
So. Now that I know 'what' and 'why', I'll have to think about 'how' to fix my problem. Because a good brainstorm doesn't come along very often.