It’s always been a challenge for me to get over the creative hump. That’s the activity of finally sitting down in front of your computer to start writing. I do the usual avoidance, like cleaning (but not too much), or watch television or read a good book – for research of course!
Part of the reason is that I feel less creative after the election. I’m not going to talk politics but that’s just the way I feel. There are some other factors too. It’s harder for me to get motivated. I wanted to write a short story for the next Bouchercon anthology but no idea came to me. I’m usually pretty good with coming up with stories. In the past, I either have an idea that I’ve thought of before but didn’t know how to use it, or come up with a fresh one, especially when I’m walking Seymour. But nothing came. I’ve even missed a few of my blog dates. That’s disappointing to me.
My current project is taking my novella, The Mindreading Murders, and expanding it to novel size. Most of the story has been written so I thought it should be an easy task adding 15,000 words. But it’s been a struggle. I have come up with a number of new scenes and storylines which I had to create from scratch and connect some dots that weren’t connected before – and that’s work, but the kind of work I usually enjoy.
But don’t fret, I’m getting more done. My goal was to have this draft done by January 31 – that didn’t happen but it’s going to happen soon. The more I write, the easier it is.
Here’s the thing, when I finally get myself in my chair and my mind back in the story, I’m creatively high. It feels like home. I’m excited to see where I’m going next and what I’ll come up with. I’m making connections that I didn’t realize were there before but my subconscious knew it. When I’m in that zone or just after coming out of it, I get more of my other stuff done. It’s as if a haze has dissipated and I’m able to see my worth again.
And that’s the answer – to remember how good it feels to write. To be creative. To stay in that zone as much as possible. I’m now using a calendar and scheduling time to write. In the past I could sit down and write whenever I wanted but now I need the extra discipline of a due date. Even if it’s my own due date.
The creative hump will always be there – but I’m working on making it less of a challenge to hurdle that hump!
How has your writing been going in 2017?
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Stephen Buehler will be attending the Left Coast Crime 2017 conference, Honolulu Havoc – March 16th – 19th. His short fiction has been published in numerous on-line publications including, Akashic Books. Derringer finalist short story, Not My Day appeared in the Last Exit to Murder anthology and A Job’s a Job in Believe Me or Not –An Unreliable Anthology. His story, Seth’s Big Move will appear in the Last Exit to Murder anthology in the spring of 2017. He’s expanding his novella, The Mindreading Murders about a magician into a novel and is shopping around his mystery/comedy P.I. novel, Detective Rules. On top of all that he is a script consultant, magician and dog owner. http://www.stephenbuehler.com