When you write yourself into a corner, you must write your way back out.
I had a few different topics I considered covering in this week’s blog, but due to some strange events since last weekend, none of them felt very interesting for me to explore.
However, I have felt remarkably inspired and energized with my creative writing. Aside from making great progress writing the third After Terra novel, I also started work on my action/horror novel that is so far an incredibly fun piece of work to write. I’m not ashamed to say that it involves me channeling a lot of inspiration from DOOM and Shadows of the Damned, with sprinklings of From Dusk Till Dawn. It’s refreshing to break out into a new genre, out of my science fiction comfort zone.
More importantly, I have found inspiration in my continued fellowship with fellow authors and readers in my area. I am motivated by my mentors and teachers in the writing field, the likes of great authors such as Tim Waggoner or Katrina Kittle, or by my peers and support within the Antioch Writer’s Workshop. It’s easy to underestimate how powerful it can be to be surrounded by those who are in the same creative boat as you. I spent much of my time writing my second book without any support structure, with little encouragement or support from my family or friends. My girlfriend at the time was literally my only creative lifeline. It wasn’t until the damn thing was nearly done (and my relationship thoroughly destroyed by that point) that I finally was able to have my work read by friends and colleagues that I respect and who know something about the writing process. I walked most of that journey alone.
Now things are different.
And for my fellow authors out there, I don’t want you to feel alone either. Though the actual work of writing is in itself solitary, do what you can to find your fellow creators. It will do wonders for your spirit, I assure you, and this is coming from a pretty damned hardcore introvert who balks at being social.
And after that, I want to leave you with a few anecdotes, some that I came up with for myself and one from the great Neil Gaiman; perhaps something to encourage you when your creative lights begin to dim:
There is no such thing as perfection in writing. Stop seeking it. Write in your voice, do it well, and it will resonate.
The way I deal with abandonment, heartbreak and disillusion is to write. Fucking write, and don’t stop. The way out is forward.
A talented writer can make anything work. Can make cliches seem new, can do what you’re told you should NEVER do and make it sing off the page.
This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard. – Neil Gaiman