The wee hours are usually when I do my most prolific writing. Most of the world is asleep, the darkness is comforting and I’m not distracted by any of my other responsibilities.
But the past few days have found me in a lull. Nothing resembling writer’s block, but just a valley in the creativity life cycle. I worked furiously for about a week on a chapter (that I feel pretty darned good about), and I have a decent idea where the next one is going, but – I’m just allowing it to simmer. I’m actually taking an already existing, but incomplete, chapter and breaking it up to add content and make it seem more “in the now”.
Maybe that’s reason for my laid-back attitude. I’m not engaged in really creating something new, but instead, slogging my way through editing and revising. What’s interesting is that I’m not terribly concerned with this current frame of mine; not anxious that it’s the beginning of a dreadful cycle of non-productivity. I just acknowledge it’s what I need to do to recharge my creative battery.
In the meantime, I’ve spent these silent, late-nite hours reading. Literary agent blogs. On one hand, God(dess) bless the internet for giving aspiring novelists such important resources. Contrarily, I’ve decided perusing too much or many of these things is the fastest route to artistic depression.
I recently made the joke that while I had talent for a great many things, none of them paid very well. Like many self-depreciating remarks, this one happens to be one of my biggest fears.
People find success in different aspects of their lives with varying degrees of difficulties. I am one of those aberrant individuals who look magnificent on paper, but have done nothing but struggle, fight and claw my way through my professional aspirations. Obviously, I won’t bore anyone with the reasons why (they are long and distinguished; some my fault, and others not), but they all lead to the place I currently occupy. On the other hand, I have friends who could be run-over by a car, end up in the full body cast and end up with an amazing new job and occupation out of it. They baffle me probably as much as my endless flailing confuses them.
Which brings up the blog-education. As an artist, it is imperative you believe in yourself and your creation. This is not to say find no room for improvement, but simply that you must possess an unstirring faith in your Work. These journals, while vast pools of knowledge, are also rife with rejection stories, hardship warnings and cautionary tales (and I don’t mean the “if an agent rejects you, don’t send them a nasty email telling them they smell like ca-ca” tips either, although there are those too). After repeated Anecdotes of Doom, it’s easy to for doubt to stir the little hairs on the base of your skull, its claws stinging your fatigued shoulders.
So what do you do? Ignore the business side of your artistic venture until you’re creativity is sated, then waste valuable time making preventable mistakes and learning what could’ve been assimilated months ago? Or do you take small sips of the poison in an attempt to build your tolerance at the risk of killing you?