Thursday, August 26, 2010

My brain is good at . . . something

Why is it that when I want to focus on a horror short story, my brain wants to work on a dark fantasy novel, yet when I start throwing words down for the dark fantasy novel, I start thinking about that horror short story?

I spoke with Bren about this not too long ago, and she told me (and I'm paraphrasing a little bit here) that she thought my brain was really good at coming up with excuses not to finish anything.

I'd like to think that I'm a creative guy. I love to write, to storytell, to let my mind wander, and I've always accepted that I have a few projects going at once because that's just how my brain works.

But I've been thinking a lot about what Bren said, and I think she's right. She and I have further discussed this, and these excuses to not finish things might even lead to a subconscious fear of success. That's certainly not something I'm comfortable with.

Another thing that Bren has said to me in the past that I've taken to heart is, "No!" This is typically in reference to when I tell her I need to pick up a new notepad when we're out shopping. (You should hear her when I tell her I'm thinking about buying a padfolio!)

I've got plenty of notepads laying around our home, some used, some bent as they were shoved into backpockets, some stained with rings of coffee or tea, some forgotten and shoved in a drawer . . . when I look in my gym bag, I find two notepads right now!

I'm not going to try to turn off the too-many-stories-at-once engine, but I am going to start putting those orphaned notepads to good use. As far as my fiction goes, at least for now, those ideas need to be put somewhere while I focus on completing a singular story before moving on to the next.

Now to decide which story to finish . . .


Casey said...

Throw caution to the wind, buy yourself a Moleskine or some equivalent. It'll make you feel special and make you feel like filling it up more.

It does me anyways!

Anonymous said...

The key to finishing something is to never go back to rewrite. Just push forward. Sometimes it's work. But you gotta do the tough parts to get to the fun.

Morgan said...

I'm sort of the same way. I'm good at coming up with ideas, sometimes not so good with the follow through. I do the thing with the notebooks too.

What I try and do is pick the one thing to work on... and if I have an idea for the other thing (or things), I just jot them down. Then I've taken that away that avenue for my brain, and I focus back on the original thing.

Also, I don't know how you feel about listening to music while writing, but sometimes I'll listen to an specific album or playlist on loop while writing a particular thing. After awhile, it seems to forge a mental connection between the two and then when I hear that playlist it immediatley puts me in the headspace to write that thing.

One of these days they'll invent that thing from The Tommyknockers where we can just write telepathically.

Neil said...

Started going through all my worldy posessions yesterday as I unpack boxes. I feel you on the notebooks. It has been a fun walk down memory lane.

As soon as you figure out how to finish those stories you start would you let the rest of us know?