Thursday, April 21, 2011

Making The Most Of It

When I was first laid off from my last job in February, I told myself that aside from spending a chunk of time looking for another job, I would put aside time every day to write.  I had planned to make serious headway into the vampire novel, Before The Dawn, knocking out a big chunk of it while I had the time.  Along with that, I would get more stories finished.  That would mean I wouldn't keep sending out the same stories over and over again.

(Just an aside:  No, my vampires are in no way, shape or form like those from Twilight.  My vampires may not be traditional vampires in the Bram Stoker tradition, or even in the Bela Lugosi  tradition, but they aren't emo teens who sparkle in the sunlight.)

Ah, suck.

Things I hadn't considered came into play from February 1 onward.  I hadn't planned on the stress of being out of work pushing me further into depression, effectively shutting down the part of my mind that actually does the writing.  Though I knew Florida's unemployment rate is higher than the national average, I didn't think it would take me long to find another job.  I have twenty-six years of retail/customer service experience...who wouldn't want to hire me?

Most of Florida, it would seem, doesn't want to hire me.

What does this have to do with writing?

Some would say I'm suffering from writer's block.  In a sense, that's correct.  I'll sit there with my notebooks and stare at the page, not knowing what comes next.  Or, if I do know what comes next, I'll get hooked on writing and rewriting the same paragraph over and over again, trying to get it perfect instead of just relaxing, getting it on paper and getting the story told.  Most of the time, I just stare at the notebooks, piled up on the ottoman next to my chair then go back to websurfing.

I did manage to finish one story, titled "The End of Seconds".  It's the touching story of the end of one universe, the start of the next universe and answers that annoying question, "So where did God come from?"  I'm now waiting to hear back from the people who're reading it before I send it out.

Now, I usually don't call it writer's block; I call it writer's gap.  Here's why:  A block is something that has to be broken through, a negative image.  A gap is something that has to be filled up, a more positive image.  It's all a matter of frame of mind.  If I can get myself into a more positive frame of mind, I'll be able to write with some regularity.  And if I can write with something resembling regularity, my outlook will improve.

Of course, it doesn't help that in both Before The Dawn and one of the side projects, a murder mystery set in the late twenty-sixth century titled "The Fault Lies Not", are both marching toward action sequences.  Action sequences always give me trouble; trying to make them realistic without being too much like a comic book is a bit of a stretch for me.  I'll get through them...eventually.

Thanks for reading while I clear my head.

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