I’m back at the beginning, sitting here with an empty Word document, a pile of half-baked ideas scribbled on notepads and index cards, and an empty mind. I thought that after having written one book it would be easy to start the next. I was wrong. The truth is, the last time I started a novel was three years ago, and it was in a very structured, guided environment. This time it’s just me, my computer, and the seeming swirling abyss that is my mind.
Plotting. It’s an exciting, yet painful process for me. Actually, it’s also painful for anyone who comes within a ten-foot radius of me while I’m doing it. I have a tendency to stop in mid-thought and say to whoever is in my line of fire, “What if…?” and then proceed to rant for up to fifteen full minutes. The What If game nearly drove The Architect to madness the last time I started a novel. This time seems as if it will be no different. I think it’s crucial for me to have a living, breathing backboard to bounce my ideas off of–even if I get only a confused stare as a response. There’s something about vocalizing ideas to prove how good–or, as is most often the case when I’m brainstorming, how utterly stupid–they are.
Since I’m so befuddled by this process, my next step should logically be to review my notes from the workshop that helped generate Resonance and see what it was we did first. The process obviously worked for me, so there’s no reason for the result to be any different, now. Maybe it will be the kick in the pants I seem to be so desperately needing.
I still find it odd that I can’t remember what we did in that class. As I said, it was three years ago, but at the time the information seemed monumental enough that I felt I’d never forget it. Then again, I once felt that way about cursive. Ask me to make a ‘Z’ in cursive now and you’ll get one of those blank looks I’m so fond of generating on the faces of others. I suppose new information has driven out the old, or at least forced it to retreat into a dusty filing cabinet somewhere deep inside my brain and thrown away the key.
Today is Lughnasadh, the harvest festival of the Celtic god, Lugh. He’s the patron god of all crafts, including poetry and writing. He’s the one to petition for advancement of one’s skills, to beseech for inspiration in one’s craft. So, despite my sluggishness of thought, I guess it makes today a pretty good day to be starting over.