I’m pretty sure writing is a type of magic: every single time I sit down at my computer to begin a story I panic and wonder if this time the words will come or if this time there will be nothing there. Every. Single. Time. Even half way through a story I battle with the doubts and fear of looking and finding nothing there. And then there are the absolutely dreadful periods when there IS nothing there – no thoughts, no ideas, just endless miles of blank thoughts. At those times, one just feels empty inside and tries to fill the void with mindless busy work. And at the first sign of something the sense of relief is profound – the imagination hasn’t completely died! And once that blockade disappears, one can see that what had appeared to be endless miles of nothingness was in fact a mirror reflecting another mirror giving the illusion of nothingness: everything was still there, it was just hiding. It’s hard to remember that when faced with a barren wasteland. The illusion is created and shattered on what appears to be an outside whim and if I could figure out the secret to both I wouldn’t have a panic attack every time I open my computer to write.
The other side of a barren wasteland is disappearing into the zone, when the writing just flows and words magically appear on the screen. The real world disappears as I get lost in what is happening to my characters – their thoughts, their movements; it’s a movie within my head. And as wonderful as it is to fill up pages and pages of a story it is also nerve-wracking: where did these words come from? Often times when I re-read what I allegedly wrote it’s different than how I remember it, making connections that I hadn’t intended but work out so well. My fear is that the little muse that issues forth these words will become disgusted with me and disappear one day. So, not only is there the fear of having nothing to write but also of losing the voice that tells the story.
Yes, writers are a little insane – at least this writer is. 🙂 But that is what makes my characters so very interesting.