Monday, February 4, 2013

When the Ideas Are Gone

I've finished two first drafts in the last nine months, and edited zero. I'm working on edits of Wishing on Baby Dust right now, and with every page I'm reminded how much easier it is to write a first draft than make that first draft into something good.

But I keep editing. In my mind, it makes sense to edit one book while simultaneously working on a first draft of another one. Lots of successful writers do this. It gives you options when you're bored with one project (and I am definitely bored with Baby Dust at the moment). I know I should be working on another idea. And I am. Sort of. I mean I have this main character from a completely unworkable story I wrote in junior high, and I'd love to put her in something that is actually believable as a plot. But the truth ideas are gone. 

And it's kind of terrifying.

Hostage Heart is an idea I've been playing with since junior high. Wishing on Baby Dust is basically my life on a daily basis, so that didn't so much feel like a new idea either. The truth is, it's been years--years--since I've worked on something that's truly new. And some days, I feel like I just don't have it in me. I'm not creative enough. I'm not imaginative enough. I'm plain just not smart enough. College sapped it out of me, and kids are working hard on taking the rest of my mental abilities.

Some days I wonder why I even bother with the stress of this writing gig. I'm so busy, and there are so many other things calling my attention. But I can't not write. It's in my blood, something I have to do.

But what if the ideas are gone?!?!?!

Then I have to remind myself that it's okay. The ideas will come. They are everywhere. I just have to find a story that speaks to me, and work on writing that. I've never been very patient, or very good at waiting. But I just need to believe that the ideas will come, the well is not dry, and all is well.

In the meantime, back to editing.

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