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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

out on the rolling sea

Well, realistically, that was a productive day. But I didn't get any actual writing done.

On the other hand, I got everything else done except the writing, and two chores that need to wait until Monday. I know what I want the next Bears Examining to be on, but genius has not yet struck as to a novel approach. And I have no idea how the short story ends, and a three-page short story needs a killer ending, because that's all it's got.

So I guess I'm off-duty for the rest of the day.

Oh, there's some potential good news on the Promethean Age front, by the way, but I'm not sure how much or what of it I'm allowed to tell folks yet, so you will all have to wait until I get some clarification from my shiny new Roc editor, who is apparently a model of efficiency.

You know, I wish my fiction brain would regenerate a little faster. I have three or four short stories that I would really like to write, because I nearly know all about them. But it's not going to happen right now.

Writing is exhaustive of the self. Once you scrape out what's in there--as you do in the course of writing a novel--you have to fill it back up again before you can take any more out. I'm generally fortunate in that my well fills up fast, and pretty soon I will be full of stories, but right now all I have is a to-do list with a bunch of incomplete stories on it, and the fretful sensation that I should be working, you damned layabout.


Stories, for me, cook up kind of like soup. You keep them simmering back there, tossing things in, adjusting the seasoning--and one day, magically, they are ready to serve. Currently, the damned things are being recalcitrant about coming together, so we're eating a lot of crackers and looking mournful.

Of course, the only solution to this is to cram more story-stuff into one's head and wait for it to find the appropriate pot.

So if anybody wants me, I will be inside a book for the remaining hours of the evening. Which is a little bit better than being under a rock.


Another wank writing metaphor for you - I always see my writing like a cup of tea that has to brew for a certain amount of time before I can add the milk and sugar! I am always telling people that the idea is "brewing".
So, what refills the self? Reading, resting... anything else?

Do you know of any refilling activities that work for other writers but haven't worked for you?
Time is the only cure anybody knows about.
Well, the stories aren't gonna write their own selves.
I think Undertow was the green slime and frog eggs book.

It would be nice if I could sleep through this, but it always comes with a nice bout of insomnia.

At least this time it brought a hypomanic phase, so I'm cheerful and productive.

Re: Warren Zevon is always appropriate

I have been listening to Piano Fighter.

"I practiced hard. It was more than a whim.
I played with grim determination, Jim."
Ooh, good news about the Promethean Age. Be still, my beating heart!

Wow, see, you haven't even told us what the potential good news is, really, but now we've got something to look forward to.

As for the simmering, most of my ideas are completely useless for the first few weeks or months after their conception. I just kind of kick them around my head until a couple of them crash into each other and produce something brilliant...or at least somewhat interesting.
Most everything I write takes years of cooking time.

The good news is, I can backburner seven or ten things at once. So there's always something cooking.
I've always said that creativity is a muscle and as such needs exercise and stimulation...and I have exercises I do to keep mine working (Plot diaries, media stimulus,etc.). These are not to create ideas, just keep your brain creative.

However I think what's being discussed here is two things. There's the part where the ideas you come up with need to cook to form plots, scenes and stories. I always find a slow simmer is better than a quick boil.

But there there's also the exhaustion that comes from putting pen to paper, as you pour your cooked ideas onto the page. This tires me greatly and I'd be very interested in any techniques people use to beat the tiredness (I'm sure it's a theoretical muscle like everything else and just needs exercise)
Ahh, I know that feeling well. It's not the being empty of words that I mind. Sometimes it's actually quite nice not to feel the damn things trying to fight their way out. No, the part of it that bugs me is that damn nagging guilt that I'm actually not typing...

Heh. The guilt is probably a good thing, in truth. I suspect I'm far too slack a writer as it is :) If only emotional turmoil didn't empty the reserves as well...!