i’ve reached a point where i think it’s time to address a long running fear of mine. i think we’re ready for that, oh dear blog reader. so, this fear of mine? it’s a fear of no new inspiration on what to write next.
my current WIP has a character that deals with things i understand explicitly. those things might be irrational, but she feels them and i feel them and as a result, writing this was a bit like therapy. the thought of starting a new piece with new characters completely unrelated to me is startling and confusing. i feel like i’ve been plopped down in a foreign country and i’m the only one who speaks English.
it seems like people are always talking about this dream they had that triggered that massive selling book, or even a mildly selling book. i have a lot of dreams, but none of them are publishing worthy. i wonder if it’s because i dream in the first person. i dream about situations i am in. and yet, so far, everything i’ve written has been in the third person. perhaps. just perhaps, i’ve been looking at my dreams from the wrong angle.
all i know is that i had a dream, a horrifying dream, last night that involved lava and cages and me and children i was responsible for and no way out. is this the sign of the apocalypse? or that i’ve spent too much time following Eyjafjallajokul on Twitter? or could this be a scene from my next novel? or could this be, plain and simple, just a dream?
dream or not. first person or not. you see, i have a hard time getting to know my characters. it seems unfair to pluck one character trait out of my imagination and force it onto someone. yet, that’s kind of what (i feel like) i have to do because (so far) i’ve never been one who “has the characters speak to me”. it’s never like i’m “channeling the story that the character had to tell”. i have to think and process and plot every sentence that i write, whether it’s dialogue, narrative, or something in between.
maybe it’s a sign i need more work as a writer. maybe it’s a sign i’m a one and done-r. maybe it’s a sign my fountain of inspiration is drying up. or, it might be that my map leading me to the next well is outdated and the path has grown over with weeds. since i’m dehydrated and without a weed wacker, it makes sense i’d feel a bit timid.
how come words can flow out of one person, while numbers can inspire another? how come i seem to be nowhere on that bell curve, that graph, that chart? how can i claw my way there? better yet, how can i find a new muse?