My creativity quietly began to assert itself this week. Several things happened to facilitate that, starting with the list from last Thursday’s post. Listing the possible stumbling blocks brought them to my attention, forced them out of the recesses of my mind where they lurked. Just admitting my fears took away a lot of their power. I knew they were there, but I need to be reminded from time to time.
Another thing that helped my creativity was rejection, believe it or not. I had two, one for a short story and one for a novel. They were both good rejections as far as rejections go, because they said what they liked about the manuscripts and what they didn’t, and both said they’d like to see something else from me. Often for writers, especially in the beginning stages, rejection is the only contact we have with publishers, so even a “no” can prod us into action and make us feel like part of the process. These reaffirmed my desire to write stories for others’ enjoyment, so I bought MS Word 2010 for my new computer as a symbol of my commitment.
The third thing was finding a folder full of old ideas I forgot about, probably twenty of them. Plot notes, beginnings, characters, scenes…lots of stuff. As I went through them I pulled out the ones that caught my interest. It’s a nebulous thing, interest, because I couldn’t tell you why I left the post-apocalyptic human “canary” in the pile but pulled out the futuristic dreamless society. I think it’s because the second one fermented better. Who knows, maybe the first one will be the one I pull out the next time I find my idea folder.
And finally, I think I realized the real reason I’ve resisted writing in the past. Fear of failure, scattered focus, indecisiveness—all of these can be overcome since I know they’re there. But while those are the branches of the tree, there seems to be a trunk holding all those up. It’s something I’ve never explored logically, because it’s almost impossible to explain in a simple sentence.
I might call it fear of being alone, except when my family’s gone all day I love the solitude. Perhaps it’s a compulsion to be connected, because when the family’s home I find it hard to shut the door and do my own thing. But wait a minute, I don’t really disconnect during the day either, thanks to the Internet. I’m physically alone but I have conversations all day. Maybe I really am afraid of being alone! See my problem? Whatever it is, it makes me feel like I can’t work on something unless it includes someone else. And it’s not only writing, either. I think the items I listed last week are subconscious ways of taking the attention off the real problem.
What do you think? Have you figured out anything about your hidden motivations recently?
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