Thursday, November 29, 2007

Try This Only At Home, Because Otherwise It’ll Get You In Trouble At Work (!)

Okay, it’s Progress Report Time. First, I probably ought to apologize for leaving you all hanging here. I shot out this great proposal for jump-starting our creativity, and then I didn’t post as I went to let you know if it was working. Then again, I’ve come to think…if it’s working, and that’s why I don’t post—that’s good, right? (LOL!) Short answer? OMW, is it working. Now, don’t get too excited and run for those paper sacks to breathe in yet, because I have a mixed bag of goodies here. No, I don’t have ten completely fleshed-out ideas for new books (yet); I don’t have ten new synopses. But that being said, what I have right now at my fingertips is so crazy and fun and non-stop that I don’t care: I’m going to get ten synopses out of all of this. And then some. So far, I’ve— —completely revamped an old book and turned it on its head; —come up with three delightfully ditzy possibilities for heroines for future books, each with a special “gift” of her own that I can put into a “woo woo” story —begun to mull a synopsis for “completing” a story that will spring from a short-short I’ve already written, but thought would be a great “root” in itself for another book —hatched a totally different character idea from the first book, which will take a spinoff book that was going nowhere and set it on its head —come up with a crazy fantasy/parallel universe idea that I won’t be using myself, unless the author I suggested it to declines to do so—which’ll mean I could then morph it into something “woo woo” but not fantasy, but still have a horking good story beginning —just about bounced off the walls writing a new synop and 12 pages of the first story listed above, have “written” the next two to three chapters verbally (i.e., worked them out in the car while driving to and from choir), have the fourth one ready to start, and just merely have to transfer them to the keyboard —and been totally wowed at what’s happened over the last couple of weeks. Now, I can thank a number of sources for this revitalization. One is all the prayers I’ve had people saying for me (and you know who you are). One is definitely the prayers I’ve spent time mulling in myself, in front of the Blessed Sacrament. And one may have been that my own creativity was just sitting there, waiting for me to trust it again. Maybe. Maybe not. Personally, I’m inclined to believe this is supernatural in origin. Why? Because this wild sparking happened when I decided to let go of the reins on my writing and allow myself to set it free from the earth, so to speak. When I started thinking back to the kind of writing I did when writing was still fun. Which it had pretty much ceased to be lately. So, as I searched for answers, one of the thoughts that came to me was, “Well, what would _____ story look like if you’d written it when you were, say, seventeen?” That, combined with a little creative brainstorming with the Lord, turned a key. And things haven’t stopped bouncing around my head since. So the moral of the story is: you put a challenge before the Lord, like I did, to help me out…you spend time in Eucharistic Adoration laying your creativity on the altar…and you become willing to abandon everything but what feels warm and fuzzy and happy and fun again…and you just might get ten stories out of the deal. Or twenty. Or… And then, the only trick is containing yourself long enough at work to have energy to type like a demon when you get home. So try this in your “thinking spot.” Try this in church. Try this in meditation. Try it while you’re driving, if you can drive and mull at the same time (i.e., if you don’t have to close your eyes to be creative!). But don’t do it at work. Or you’ll suddenly be looking for ways to ditch the day gig and Get On With It—and that path, I can honestly say, I’m not financially ready for! Thoughts? Janny P.S. DRISCOLL WON!!!!


Deb said...

Yay! I'll say it again: yay!

Rooting for you as always. Cheering for you more heartily than before. Praying for you more fervently than you know.


Donna Alice said...

Hooray!! Sounds like you have been busy!!

I didn't get very far on this exercise yet because I got sidetracked doing NANO (and yes, I finished four days early!) So, I have a book that never was before and needs major editing, several ideas for some prequels of the children's series I've been working on, another short chapter book that I'd like to try to edit AND--I'm writing another fan fiction story because that always makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

Thanks for the jolt!