I was watching last week's episode of One Tree Hill and Hailey and Brooke were wondering where things went wrong in their careers, and wondering how they could make things fun again.
I guess I'm sort of going through the same thing. When did writing become 'not fun' anymore?
In the 5th grade, we had a teacher who would put on classical music and tell us to write whatever popped into our heads. My first 'story', my take on the movie Logan's Run, was the first 'original' thing I ever wrote. And since the basic story was taken directly from the movie (and a 10-year-old's perception of it!), my second story, a fairy tale about a dragonfly, was more original.
Sadly, the only papers to survive are my Firefly tale and a stupid story about a gentle giant.
My 9th grade teacher announces we are going to spend each Friday writing creatively. Bam! A story based on the song 'One Tin Soldier' pops in to my head, and instead of waiting four more days, I wrote it in Study Hall. I recieved a 'B' on it, because of some spelling errors. Two weeks later, I started boring her with my ending to Star Wars, which I finally finished in early May! And two days later, another fairy tale popped into my head, so I went to my room and wrote it. My mom loved it; it earned me an 'A', and four years later I turned it into an illustrated children's book and read it to kindergartners and 1st graders. They all loved it. Where is it now? Locked in a file cabinet with the original sketches. My finished book? Probably long gone. I don't think I ever got it back. (I could be wrong...my mom might still have it somewhere!)
I got bored during the summer and started writing down 'what if' I flew to California to see my 'boyfriend'. Three months later, he came back; I kept writing. See my website for what happened next!
My first book is published, and suddenly I'm in a panic and want to crawl in a hole somewhere. What the hell have I done? Everyone is going to yell at me because of the language; the un-Christian-like attitudes; my parents are going to disown me! Surprise, surprise...everyone who reads it LIKES it! Okay...poking my head out. Whew! I'm not going to be publicly flogged!
I get two bursts of creativity and write 100 pages on a wip that is scarily coming true in a friend's life. I can't work on it anymore; I'm too afraid for her! The second writing stint results in my first book, Wild at Heart. I like it; not everyone 'gets' my first hero. Give him a chance! I guarrentee you'll love him by Ch 3! Oh yeah...I also burn myself out during NaNo. I was sooooo sick of this story, I literally didn't even look at for three months. Delete the final 10K words, and hey Kenzie...this story's not half bad! My critique partner enjoys the first 5 chapters before health problems plague her. I'm still wondering whether or not to go ahead and submit it.
Between blogging every day, a husband who resents me spending most of my waking moments at the computer, and a massive case of writer's block, I somehow manage to write two more short stories. I also started 4 or 5 more. Will I ever finish them? I'm going to spend NaNo trying to finish at least one. But I'm not going to turn into the Mad, Screaming, Lunatic Bitch of the Century. No; if I come up against a day where I can't make my daily word count, I'm not going to fret about it. I'll simply do something else until the idea returns. And I've done a much better job of preparing my kids for what lies ahead this month.
So how do I go about recapturing the 'fun'?
I guess I'll start by not putting so much pressure on myself. My goal this year was to submit, submit, submit my work and get my first e-contract. And rejections keep coming. However, I was contacted last week about a possible contract, so maybe things are starting to look up again?
And maybe I'll also get that grant, so I can attend three upcoming conventions this year. Or lock myself in a hotel room until I finish a manuscript or two?
Any other ideas you'd like to toss my way? I'm open to suggestions!
And Happy Halloween, by the way:)