I’ve been doing plenty of writing lately: essays, articles for magazines, and tons of lists: What to do Before Ireland, What Not to Forget to Bring, Academic Tasks to do Before Graduation, What to Buy for The Trip etc. (Can you tell I love making lists? I do! I find it calming to have it all out of my head and onto paper.)
While I have managed to write a (very rough) outline of another “weird food story,” I have not been as immersed in fiction lately as I enjoy being. In fact, I’m missing it madly. Let me say that another way: I NEED to be in the middle of worlds in the making.
Yesterday as I was driving the title and another premise for a “weird” short story popped into my head. I made a note as soon as I could and promised the nebulous character who appeared that I would get back to her as soon as I could. Then I pulled up short. Whoa! Did I vow to “get back” with a character, as if she were a caller on hold?? That, my friends, breaks every rule of fiction I hold dear. THE WRITER is the one on hold, and she’d better be ready when the story is. Suddenly I longed for it all to be over, the blessed, highly anticipated trip that hasn’t even begun, the graduation that I have worked so hard for, the once-in-a-lifetime workshop I will be a part of, the endless hours of writing on things that give me pleasure but not as much joy as my dear, dear friend Fiction.
What happens to you, writer friend, when you are deprived of your drug of choice, words? What about when you can’t spare a moment to sit in a cafe with a pen and tablet and invite the words to take charge? Do you find yourself feeling lethargic, moody, and “thinky,” as I do? Do you find yourself without an appetite for much of anything? Yeah, that’s me.
I can’t spare much time tonight to write, but I will begin, even if I only have ten minutes. It will be a start.
So Dear Idea, New Character, who trusted me with your story, I apologize. Unformed One, please revisit me. Don’t give up on me. I will stop, drop, and write, because I’m just itchin’ to be writing fiction.