Avoidance or Creativity at Work?

I have two books on the cusp. And I’ve avoided both for days now. Privileged Lives is almost ready to be published on Smashwords. Hidden Boundaries is almost ready to be published on Kindle. I’ve poked and pushed at both of them, tweaking here, correcting there, and they’re still both hanging. What have I been doing instead? Mostly reading and websurfing, adding little bits to various WIPs. But mostly being obsessed by a new story.

I don’t know what it is about new ideas that makes them appear just when you don’t really have time for them. Maybe it’s the worrying about whether you’re still going to have any new ideas when all the current WIPs are finished. Maybe it’s pure avoidance–hesitating to push the button that will change your world. Putting a new novel out for the world to see certainly has the power to do that.

Or maybe it’s that lovely feeling when something has appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and is starting to become something you can work with. A germ of an idea takes on flesh and starts growing. You throw a character into an impossible situation and watch while he struggles, and either succeeds or fails. Maybe it’s all of them.

Here’s the photo that inspired my latest sidetrack.

Tags for this story would be science fiction, dystopia, crime and punishment.


5 thoughts on “Avoidance or Creativity at Work?

  1. I’m often this way too–the ideas really start fizzing and popping and demanding to be written as I am close to the end of another project. And I never know what to do, because I also know that for me, when I finish a project, I go through a fallow period (no matter how fecund the ideas seemed during that final stretch of of the previous project).

    For me there’s definitely some element of what you mention re pushing that final button. Big time. Part of it is concern about the extent to which the finished project falls short of the vision–and the avoidance that results from that. But also, there’s that awareness of the post-project slump–and perhaps that’s what makes things seem particularly tempting and distracting at this stage… because I’m trying to put off that final moment and the subsequent long exhalation and period of emptiness.

    Congrats on the new story! It really is exciting and kind of wondrous when a new idea pops out, you concentrate on it, and some mystical process of thinking on it and contemplating it causes it to flesh out into something really intriguing…

    1. It seems that writing is always a battle of one sort or another. You’re right about that feeling of emptiness, but there’s also the relief of getting that darned thing off my back. And that’s pretty weird, when you think about it. The original inspiration was enough to carry you through the writing and all the drafts, and all of a sudden, you’re just sick of it.

  2. I was thinking… you might also add silver polish to the tags for that story. )) As you know, having the next idea is head and shoulders over NOT having the next idea. And, yes, it demands attention. It just happened to me a few days ago, and there is now a smart-alec Firedrake that is demanding attention. Oh, la!

    The short story book comes first this time, because I’d like to experience that brand new feeling of finishing and publishing.

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