Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Fairy Godmother Effect

Okay. I confess. My life is littered with crud these days. There’s a lot of good stuff in there, too, but it seems that for months all I’ve been able to see was this mounting stack of impossibility. And, unfortunately, it began to affect my writing, zapping my creative juices and, subsequently, pilfering away at my productivity.

So this went on longer than it should have. (I believe it’s called a rut.) And then, dedgummit, I read Terence’s blog. I didn’t mention it to my Novel Spaces colleague then, but, um, thanks for the kick in the hindparts. It seems I’d unconsciously set my stick-to-it-ness aside and posted a sign in my brain like the ones limo drivers carry at airports, except mine blared FAIRY GODMOTHER.

Really, I was slumped in my writing chair wondering how long her flight was delayed and when she’d arrive to rescue me. In most uncharacteristic fashion I’d shut down and locked myself into a box I’m so good at thinking outside of. Then in a moment of melancholy I bop on over to Novel Spaces for my ritualistic read and “Bam!” Terence wrote:

What I need to do is stop waiting for some magic moment to come along that makes it all okay. So, no more waiting for enough money in the bank to relax. No more waiting for enough time to dedicate my entire day to writing. Wherever it is I am going, I m there, and just have to live up to the moment.
I hate being called on the carpet – and I’m sure he wasn’t thinking about my self-imposed life-exile when he penned his blog – but those words snapped me out of my funk. Sure, sure, there have been well-meaning friends and relatives offerings words of wisdom. One camp advocates taking a break, while another urges me to just dive in. Read a book, watch a movie, or use parts of something you’ve already written, have all been suggested. And ignored. I guess this time it took unintentional tough love from someone who knows what it’s like to make blank pages come to life that set me straight.

But, that was just part of it. The other hurdle was figuring out how to re-tool my brain to conquer my encroaching deadline. It seems I’ve taken to thinking way faster than I write, which has made capturing my thoughts much like corralling cats. Solution? Digital recorder. I’ve been walking around the house with a headset microphone and the recorder in my pocket, talking to myself as if I’m reading the story in my head aloud.

So, far, I like the method. I no longer feel like my plot is always a few steps out of reach of my keyboard. I guess I’ve found my way out of that box I’d slithered into and put away my little poster board driver-in-waiting sign. Now that I’m back on the road to productivity, I’ll still keep an eye out for the Fairy Godmother. If she shows, I can send her your way if you’d like.


1 comment:

Liane Spicer said...

Please send her my way first, Stefanie. I haven't been writing or talking about my rut because it scares the hell out of me. And I've been feeling extra badly because I imagine everyone else has it all together.

I read Terence's post and decided I'll go back and re-read soon because it's the kick up the pants I need. Either that or the Fairy Godmother.