Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Void

The Void is the place where writing does not exist. There are no pens, no papers, no laptops, typewriters, or anything. There is only a vast silence where words do not, cannot, exist. Such is the place I currently find myself. OMG, I'm lost in space. Sorry, that snuck in without me looking. Hate it when that happens.

I'm currently in between projects. Yes, I have editing galore to do. Editing, editing, editing, and more editing. Geesh, does it ever end? No, it doesn't. There's always something I have to edit.

At this point, the current project I'm working on is in self-imposed (me being the self-imposer) exile. Once I finish one editing phase, I always set the project aside for a couple of weeks to provide some distance. Distance, for me, is the key to effective writing/editing. So, that project is slumbering nicely and . . . NOTHING. There's nothing happening. Where, oh, where has that dratted Inspiration gone? Where is she (or he) hiding? I've looked everywhere! Seriously, people, everywhere! I can't find her (or him). Clever little *&%^#! How dare she (or he) hide when I need her (him) the most? It's just not fair.

Okay, I do have a few ideas swimming around in the vastness of my mind. I just can't catch those ideas. Who knew they could swim so fast? I certainly didn't!

Yes, I'm frustrated. Then, there's that little voice (I have quite a few of those in my mind as well, nothing to worry about . . . I think) in my mind saying there are other projects that need editing attention, you do have things you could be doing! I hate that voice sometimes. It sounds exactly like my mother (sorry, Mom, but it does). Do I pay attention to that voice? No, and there were times I didn't pay attention to my mother, which would explain why I spent a good portion of my childhood grounded . . . which was not necessarily a bad thing, because I was perfectly content in my room reading books. : ) Okay, I wasn't grounded that often, but Mom never figured out that sending me to my room really wasn't a punishment.

So, instead of full force writing or editing, I've been jotting down notes for story ideas. I have one idea I'm pretty excited about - just not enough to obsess over right now. Then, there's the great fantasy epic that I've rewritten so many times . . . well, it's not even funny. It's sad, pathetic, and . . . is it too early in the day for a margarita? Yes, I'm in snark mode this morning. I need to focus, focus, focus. Editing is writing, editing is writing, editing is writing!

Yes, I know editing is writing. I told you I was in snark mode this morning. I just hate The Void (can't you just hear some computer enhanced voice echoing those words over and over and over again?). I hate these - normally very brief - interim moments between projects when I seriously can't decide what to write next.

Thankfully, the moments will pass. My question: what do you do when confronted with The Void?

Have a great Wednesday.



Tess said...

My husband bought me these amazing Bose headphones. They plug into my ipod and, when I wear them, the whole world disappears. I can't hear ANYTHING other than what sounds like a one on one concert of my favorite music. I use them when my children start arguing or if I just need a mental distraction....It is heaven.

Litgirl01 said...

It's never too early in the day for a margarita. I have some editing you can do! :-D

Barb said...

At moments like you're describing, I read. It seems to trigger off ideas and to get me wanting to work on my own stuff again.

Hope you're out of the void soon.

Scott said...

LitGirl01 - I knew there was a reason I liked you!

Barb - thanks. Reading often inspires me . . . just not this time. As with everything else, this too will pass. : ) At least I hope it will pass, if not, there's more than one margarita in my future!

Tess - I lose myself in music far too often. I often find inspiration in music. So, tonight, margaritas, music, and inspiration. That's my plan!

Davin Malasarn said...

I don't fight the Void so much anymore. I used to hate it. Now, I spend so much time writing that when the Void appears, I use the time to catch up with friends. One of my writing teachers insisted that everyone needed time for "the well to fill" again. The Void may be your brain's strategy for formulating new ideas. Just go with the flow...which hopefully won't last too long.

Elizabeth McKenzie said...

Here's an idea, start promoting your book online. You can use your blog to start with. I don't know from experience, but I've heard the hard part is getting the book noticed. Maybe you could do some book reviews. You never know, you might come up with an inspiration.

Charlie said...

I'm in the void now, which is allowing me to comment on blogs! There's so much going on in my life that a break from writing is fine. The creativity always returns when there's peace and quiet and plenty of coffee.

Scott said...

Davin - I don't necessarily fight The Void, just become somewhat frustrated. I like your theory about The Void. Not writing last night helped leap high above my competitors on Facebook for the best Bejeweled Blitz score. : ) The words will come when they come.

Elizabeth - Good advice. I'll have to think about that one for a while.

Charlie - amen, to the coffee . . . and the wine and/or margaritas if it's in the evening. I definitely think it's easier to write when other things in my life aren't so chaotic.

ElanaJ said...

Holy freak, I've been in the Void for days and weeks. I may never get out! I too have editing I *could* do. Do i want to? No.

For me, here's the hard truth. I'm not writing because I don't want to. I'm not editing because I don't want to. I'm not reading/revising/writing queries/etc. because I don't want to.

As soon as that changes, then I'll do it. I like to play games with myself and say I don't have any inspiration, but the hard fact is I just don't feel like working on writing. I'm not saying this is how you're feeling, but it's what I've learned about myself.

When I want to do the work, the Void dissipates and I do it. It's the same with real life too. That toilet needs to be cleaned, I know it, and I don't care. I don't want to do it. But when the in-laws are coming over, I buckle down and get the work done.

If only I had in-laws cracking the whip over my writing life...

Hang in there, Scott! Your inspiration will come back!