Monday, July 7, 2008
I've been thinking about this post for a while. It's something that I would like to talk about. At first I thought it was only me, but I've talked to several people and they all have this problem.
Inspiration, aka the muse. She's a fickle friend, and one that often leaves you. It's the fire that drives you to write, the passion that makes you love what you do and want to see the thing to the end. Every writer and wanna-be writer knows what I'm talking about. You get that idea and your pulse quickens and you feel your adrenaline surge and you just can't wait to get started.
But, what I've seen happen a lot is the inspiration goes away. Sometimes early on. For those who feel dedication and love and such, sometimes halfway through the book, but eventually it seems that writing becomes a chore...and everybody hates chores so why would you want to write? Let's go watch some Smallville and give the muse a rest. We'll write tomorrow.
Tomorrow you say, geez, man. I still don't want to write. Oh well, I'll go read this book I've been wanting to read and go wash some dishes and tomorrow I'll do a big writing day to make up for what I missed today.
And the next day you don't.
And the next day you don't...
...and eventually you stop writing entirely. That's happened to me more times than I can count. I have a whole ton of stories that I started, but never got around to finishing, some of them I didn't know what I wanted to do with them, some them I knew exactly, but all of them eventually became no fun to write.
I thought it was just me, but one of my college friends was talking to me the other day -- she's a creative writing major -- and she said that she gets like that too.
That's why I've been writing so many random genre stories lately: A Lover Scorned was a kinda noir-ish murder mystery, Silence and Darkness was a horror-ish story, and Detective Sheen is sci-fi, which I've never written before. I've been trying variety to give the muse other flavors and make her want to work, but I still lose interest.
So this is kind of a discussion question for those of you who want to participate, how do you finish things? How do you keep interested long enough to finish the whole project, whether it be a short story or a novel?