Tuesday, January 19, 2010

If You Build It They Will Come?

So, kind of a ridiculous title but the premise of this blog reminded me of that (in)famous line from Field of Dreams.

My New Year's Resolution this year was to write a short story each month, regardless of how bad or ridiculous it winds up being. I figured it would be a good exercise in finishing things if nothing else. I've been working on the same novel for years now so when I first thought about really doing this at the beginning of the month I thought 'I have no idea how this is going to work. What am I going to write about?'
I'd gotten used to my story and my characters. Sure sometimes new stories and concepts would occasionally drift across my mind, but nothing particularly vibrant. Nothing with much life. It's a fine state of affairs for long term novel writing but doesn't much work when you need to create something new. But I've found, as the month has worn on, the ideas have come.

I was in the shower the other day and an idea came to me. Which was weird, because the concept of creative showering does not seem like it belongs in my life. (No, the story has nothing to do with showers.) Anyway, the point is, they aren't just concepts that are faintly interesting, they're alive. The characters, the settings, they're practically tangible. I'm not going to pretend that the writing is the best I've ever done but I'm writing.

I'd forgotten that quick, bright burst of inspiration. And here's the conclusion that I've come to. In concentrating on my novel I had stopped looking at new ideas. Now, having decided to write a series of short stories, everything is ripe with possibility. Granted, the inspiration for some ideas I won't admit even under pain of torture (previous defense of fluff not withstanding).

Perhaps shutting out new ideas is necessary for concentrating on long term projects and preventing Creative ADD but I would like to keep myself open.


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