And it takes soooooo long.
Here comes the sympathy tears … waah. After all the crybaby tactics and listing of facts (both real and made up), the fact remains.
Writing is sometimes so hard. And it takes sooooo long.
Let me explain.
Last night. In the Midwest the winds were howling, singing forlornly as they whipped around the corners of my house. I went to bed, the tempestuous atmosphere the perfect background for the dark, and put on one of my Amazon Music playlists I call Late Night Minor Chord Piano. (I listen to music before bed to try and slow my chatter brain down). Snuggled all comfy under my comforter, sleepy-eyed, my thoughts were slowing down when my muse stopped by.
“Isn’t this the kinda sounds just perfect for a story?” she asked, sitting on my pillow.
“Go away. I’m trying to sleep.”
She laughed. “You know you won’t fall asleep until midnight. It’s only ten o’clock. I’m telling you! There’s a story here! Night! Wind! Spooky music!”
Well, she was right. There was a story in this rare atmosphere.
But I was in bed. In the dark. My computer was in the other room. My dream journal (the one I’m trying to write in when I have a great dream) was nowhere to be found. My legs ached from walking most of the evening, and my valerian was starting to kick in.
But there was a story in the nightly wind.
Something nebulous started to form in my mind. I saw a stopwatch — maybe a grandfather’s gold watch. A younger woman looking at said watch. Some time travel element, maybe. Or flashback story.
And there I was, laying in bed in the dark, not willing to get up and give it a whirl.
Getting up and writing would have been so hard.
And besides — by the time I’d flush out a decent story line — even letting the story take a life of its own as I typed — and set the atmosphere, the place, the characters, the plot, the dialogue, the turning point, it would be a month down the line. Six months. And, knowing me, rewrites, grammatical corrections, and all the rest.
I know — ANY craft takes time. You can’t just slop paint on a canvas and call it a painting. Or knit a row or two and call it a pair of socks. It takes planning ahead of time. An idea. A plan. An outline. Instructions. Research.
And you can’t do any of that from your bed. At night. In the dark.
In the light of day today the story idea still lingers. But the winds have died down, I’m getting ready to go to my grand daughter’s Christmas concert, and have an apple crisp baking in the oven.
I don’t hear atmospheric music, see gold watches, or have a glimpse of grandfather’s life in the 20’s.
But I’ll be back.
True artists never give up. They follow their leads to see wherever they may go. And they go through the birthing process every time a new idea takes shape.
Just not once I get into bed and turn out the lights.