Discover more from A Disaster in Many Parts
What was I doing again?
Writing is hard. Yeah, I know. I'm super deep and intellectual, and clearly the first person in all of human history to think this crap is challenging.
Here's the thing, though. It’s hard because it’s been done. It’s hard because there’s always someone else who did it better, and no matter how many times you tell yourself not to worry about it, you worry about it.
If you want to write fantasy, there's already a Tolkien. Horror has Lovecraft and Stephen King. How the hell do you live up to that? It’s not like you can switch mediums. You want to make movies? Great. Now you’re going toe-to-toe with Hitchcock, Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, and literally every single person at Pixar. (Can you guess my favorite movies?) Throw in an overactive imagination and little dash of ADHD, and this whole process gets worse. So. Much. Worse.
Imagine having an idea run through your head so clearly that it plays like a memory from another life, but by the time you get to a notebook or a computer, it’s just gone. The only thing you have left is some vague echo that pales in comparison. You don’t remember the original idea, but you know it was better than this.
My phone has been something of a lifesaver in that regard. I can take notes on the go, and while I’m not the fastest thumb typer, it has saved at least a few ideas from disappearing into the void.
That’s really the root of the problem here. I’m a momentum writer. When the wires are all connected, and I have a word processor in front of me, I can cover a lot of ground. I think they call it hyperfixation. We’re talking a level of focus so strong that I forget to eat.
It's, uh, great? Maybe?
The problem (besides losing sight of the world around me) is that if I lose that momentum, it takes an insane amount of effort to get it back. More often than not, it means I’m done writing for the day because I’m too frustrated to pick it back up.
I can’t tell you how many times someone has told me to “write every day.” Like it’s that easy. Like I can just set aside some time and schedule a writing session. On Wednesdays, we write fantasy. Please.
I would kill to have that kind of predictable productivity. At least I think so. I’ve got a number of projects that I’m really proud of, and as many ideas that have a ton of potential.
As frustrating as it can be staring at a blank page for hours waiting for the engine to start or juggling a dozen differrnt threads across as many stories, I can’t help but wonder if maybe the best ideas are a product of the chaos.
Maybe getting this under control means shutting off the imagination—just a little bit. What if more focus means less creativity? Is it worth it?
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