It didn’t bother me at first. I was busy preparing The Fourth Quarter and Duality for publication, then I got sick with a sinus infection, and then I went out of town for the weekend to see one of my favorite bands in concert. It’s been this past week when I finally realized that I’ve passed on every prompt or opportunity to get back to writing short stories. I tried to blame the prompts – they weren’t good, I had nothing, they just weren’t that inspiring. It was a couple of days ago when I finally realized what the real problem was: I was still stuck in Singularity!
Well, this is awkward.
It’s exciting to create a new world. It’s a lot of work and rough drafts can be tough – after all, it’s not easy to create something from nothing – but it comes to a point where it consumes you. You’re in that world. You know these characters. They’re real to you, and this alternate reality that you’re bringing to life is exciting. It’s only natural that, after you type that last word, there’s a mixture of relief to have it out of your head and on your computer, and disappointment that it’s over. People talk about the disappointment when they finish reading a good book. Believe it, it’s nothing compared to the deflation of when you finish writing a book, especially one that you’ve been working on for a while. Singularity started coming together around last Thanksgiving, so that book was nine months in brainstorming, research, development, and writing. Of course, it’s hard to let go of it. It was co-habitating my brain for three quarters of a year.
Sure, it needs rewrites, revisions, edits, and much more work to make it a publishable manuscript. But the fact of the matter is that I do need to let it go for a while so I can have an objective perspective when doing the follow up work. I need to walk away from that community and take some space in the real world to come back and fine tune that one. Being a writer truly is living in multiple realities. The trick is knowing how to toggle amongst them.
I need to walk away to find new inspiration for other work, too. My novels are usually in the works for two years before they’re ready to publish, so I need to create more in the way of short stories, articles, and perhaps even other long stories or novellas to keep new content out there. That means I need to open up my mind and my muse for new, different inspiration. The only way to do that is to move away from Singularity.
It’s time to leave that world behind, at least for a little while, to embrace others. Difficult as it is, I’ll find a way, and find that inspiration again. Perhaps soon, since I’m open enough to at least write this blog today. There’s hope.
That’s all today. Stay safe, and have a great rest of the week.