Friday, April 07, 2006

Getting Back Into It...?

I always experience this phenomenon. Whenever I take a vacation, or I go out of town, I run around so much, I don't do any writing. And then, when I get back, I don't have the desire to do any writing, either. And when I finally do, it's strange, like using a muscle I'm not used to flexing. Or sometimes it's like riding a bicycle, and I get right back into the seat and start pedaling, as if I never had a hitch.

It's sad to say, but I think writing truly is just a hobby, for me. Sure, I love to do it, and I have the drive to sell novels, but I am not focused or disciplined enough to do it consistently. Therein lies my entire problem. Until I am ready to MAKE IT MY CAREER, it isn't going to happen for me. I know this wishy-washy attitude drives other writers crazy, but it's just me being honest. Or it's the Adult ADD. One of the two. ;-)

So I was cleaning yesterday, and a story came to me. A period romance, Jane Austen style. The idea itself is absolutely delicious. I ran to the computer and wrote out the story bones, before I lost them, and all day long I had conversations between the main characters and secondary characters, running in my head. But did I sit down and begin to write it? NO. I continued doing what I was doing, and after I wrote out the idea, I left it alone.

The characters are still talking today, a little more muted, perhaps, but they're there. I am still struggling with the mediocrity of my writing. I am the unfortunate who has the great ideas, but not the skills to adequately portray the story in prose. I've recently come to this realization, and it's not pleasant. I think that might be part of my hangup. Or my hesitation.
Why spend all the time writing it out, and editing and re-editing, alternating between abject suffering and joyful bliss during the drawn-out process, only to have it sit on my computer, for my eyes only? Why in the hell would I put myself through all that, for nothing?

It's so easy to find OTHER things do fill your time, when you feel like you're only mediocre at something. And so I think I'll start scrapbooking again. At least until I feel the need to persevere.


The Ramblin Irishman said...

Reading your blog today reminds me of occasions that I have. I will wake up in the middle of the night with these great ideas or thoughts. I will lay awake thinking of neat plots and ect. but I am too lazy to get up and write them down. I think I am thinking of my wife and how it would disturb her rest. Come morning I have forgotten most of everything and at times it is very frustrating. Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

You're missing the boat, Lara. Your Blog is a fun read and the world could use another humorous look at life. Think Erma Bombeck.

Might be something to think about while you're waiting to publish the next great novel.


Michelle Miles said...

Don't pressure yourself! Just jot down those notes when they come to you. You don't have to DO anything about it right now and - uh - you are NOT a mediocre writer. I've read your stuff. You're a wonderful writer.

And, incidentally, I do the very same thing. I have characters yakking in my head but rarely get them on paper. So don't sweat it. Give yourself time to adjust to getting back into the swing of things after vacation. ;)

Anonymous said...

I stumbled onto your blog a few weeks ago, and have read every single entry up to this one so far. It's been extremely fascinating to me because we are so different. I'm 26 and just moved to Scotland to join my partner. I went to U.C. Berkeley and lived in San Francisco. I would say I fit the stereotype of somebody from that background. I suppose that's why it's been so fun and entertaining to have a glimpse into your life. The stories you tell about your family and Things one, two and three are hysterical. One can really get a feeling of what it's like being you and appreciate you for who you are. It's been eye-opening for me reading your blog because I think if I saw you at the grocery store, I would have immediately placed you in the "suburban soccer mom" category and never really thought of you as a real person, but rather a set of stereotypes only.

What I really wanted to comment upon is your writing, however. I grew up with the same love for Jane Austin and can appreciate many of your loves. However, I would really love to read a story of yours set in a setting that you know. You have said previously that research takes up a lot of your time, and while you enjoy doing it, it sometimes stalls your writing. Have you ever considered writing a YA story set in a setting that you know well? Perhaps having one writing projet/WIP set in the United States will give you something to work on when research/family life starts sucking away your time. Even something like a story written from Thing one's perspective about the move from Wisconsin to Denver would be great, I think, and relevant as so many children deal with moving around. I know writing is an escape for you from your daily life, but I also know that writing from experience is important as well.

I also have aspirations for writing. I was a literature major in college and have been an avid reader all of my life. I try to write frequently and when I'm not writing, I'm taking notes. What I've found painful in my writing is that I can't always write about the people/times that I'm most interested in because they don't sound authentic or genuine coming from me.

I don't mean to critisize your aspirations, but just wondering if you've considered writing about something closer to home.

(The UK is a lot different once you get past the fascade and start living here. I love it, but I do miss home a bit. If you would like me to send you a few pictures of the beautiful buildings I walk past every day, send me an email at brookstar at g mail dot com.)

Cheers and good luck writing! I admire your tenacity. I wish I were as motivated as you are. (BTW - are you participating in nanowrimo this year?)