I think I’ve mentioned before that the series I’m writing right now came about because I heard a couple songs together while I was driving one day. Sometimes when I’m listening to music, especially in the car or on the bus when my head is only half-focused on it, a verse or even a line will catch my attention and my mind is off and running. So that was that, but I’ve been struggling for awhile to make the end of the story come together and wrap up all the loose ends. The solution I originally came up with felt less than original and had some holes that I knew I’d have to fill.
As a result, it was difficult to get motivated to start writing the final installment in the series, and after mocking up an outline riddled with holes, I idled.
Ahh, but then. Once again, whatever literary muse that seems to live inside my iPod struck again. One verse of one song, a song iTunes says I’ve played dozens of times, fixed my porous plot problem. Not only that, but my new ending sort of flips the bird at some genre conventions.
The funny part is for a long time I was actually mishearing the lyrics, and it wasn’t until I learned the correct words that the idea was born. Oops.
Posting the song would be a huge spoiler so I’m keeping it under wraps, which is too bad because I love it. Someday, maybe.
But that’s not all, folks. Not long after, while navigating a traffic circle after dropping the kids off at school one morning, the iPod muse hit hard. One line was all it took. New book, could be a series. Completely different from what I’m working on right now. And I’m so excited to start writing it, so much so that I’m conflicted on what I should be working on right now – finish the series I’ve been writing for the past two years, or new project? I’m terrible at making decisions so I might literally pick one out of a hat and run with it.
While I’ve been waffling over that decision, and now that I’m starting to climb out of the dark hole I was mired in (yay), I’ve finished the ninth (!) draft of The Unraveling and I feel like I’m ready to start querying again after my less-than-successful results last year. With my new opening scene I hope to get some positive feedback this time around.
I often turn to music for ideas when I write, but my favourite moments are when the iPod gives me an unexpected gift, a real moment of inspiration, and it’s encouraging to know that I still have that spark despite the pall of depression that is thankfully starting to dissipate. I’m excited about life and about writing again. It’s good to be back.
Reading this post made me chuckle twice: firstly from the captioned Toy Story picture (thank you!), and now, and I just love it, the text you wrote over the comment box… Smiles. Thanks.
I can relate so much to what you’ve shared here. I have a book I wrote that is technically finished and unfinished. I “finished” (reached a certain word-count) a year or two ago, but I haven’t tied all the loose ends yet, or even gave it a structure and a solid plot yet either!
The indecision has been killing me. I wrote a summary of what I think would make it a good book, which I keep handing out to whoever asks me what the book is about.
Until tonight, I didn’t know that doing that summary thing has probably been holding me back from editing the novel and “completing” it. Somehow it pressures me to say that it’s about This or That, and takes away the creative process a little, and makes me feel like it “should” be this, or “should” be that. Takes the fun out of anything. I’ve let that go and I feel more open to working on my book again and deciding how the book will go may or may not be a natural process (whatever that means).. but at least it will be a process I’m more comfortable with. And who knows, I might do exactly what you said you’re doing: flip a coin. Well, anyway, I share this in hopes that it may help you if some form of “should” is standing in your way.
It’s too bad you’re depressed, and I hope working on your book sucks you further out of that. I hate that feeling, but sometimes .. most of the time, writing helps me through it.. smiles. I hope it helps you.
Thanks, Lila 🙂 That’s great that you’re finding some motivation to get started again. I like to have a few notes so I know what direction I’m heading in with my plot, but leave myself a lot of room for the creative process too so I don’t feel stifled.
Good luck with your writing! I hope to have good news about my progress soon 🙂