From late August to mid October I did my first major novel revision. The last two weeks of October I spent outlining and brainstorming my NaNo novel, while in November I wrote said novel. Then December came, and in a flurry I did my second full novel revision. This one, however, was much lighter than the one I undertook in August, but substantial and time-crunched nonetheless.
In the meantime, I started a new round of writing dares with a friend of mine getting back into the word-slinging gig.
(In case you are unfamiliar with the idea of a writing dare: two [or more, I suppose] people trade of sending one another ‘dares’, pictures, phrases, etc designed to spur the imagination. The recipient then has one week to write ~1,000 words or more based on the dare, and return their writing to the sender, along with a dare of their own. Good for inspiration and accountability. The inestimable Catherine Krahe introduced me to this practice.)
So I gave her a dare over Thanksgiving, which she responded to, as planned, a week later with words to read and a picture to write from.
So, like I generally do with shorts, I dove right in. I fished around for a while, exploring the setting, possible back stories for characters, endings that may or may not work. I ended up with a mish-mash of randomness that, I think, has potential. But when I sat down and tried to thread the damn thing together, to figure out where I needed to steer it, I felt something very unfamiliar.
I felt empty.
I’ve talked about the need for creative input before, and I was able to recognize exactly what had happened. I wasn’t a washed up writer. My ideas weren’t all used up. I was just spent. I’d been bleeding all over the page for about four months straight, without much rest in between, and I’d become creatively anemic. Not a great feeling, but not the end of the world, either. In fact, I’m looking at the next week, or maybe the rest of the month, as a great opportunity to get in some socializing, catch up on critiques I owe, go see some performance art, capitalize on quality reading time (I’ve been daydreaming about this book for months). Intake, intake, intake.
Along with gorging myself on art and words and people, I’m going to draft up a list/schedule of goals for next year. I’ve got a few things whirling around already, including *finally* tackling an idea I’ve been stuck on for about three years, as well as refreshing my collection of short stories. And revisions, of course. There are always revisions to be done.
So, right now I’m looking for book, movie and artist recommendations. Who do you turn to when you’re feeling tapped out? Read/seen anything amazeballs lately?
photo used under Creative Commons license from flip.01