My friend Otis wrote, "I’m in one of those stupid cycles where nothing is quite interesting
enough for a blog post. I’m not getting out much for obvious reasons
and home life is fairly rote (except for the parts that aren’t)."
I sure am glad he wrote that, because I've been feeling this weird, uninspired malaise for weeks, and I haven't quite been able to identify exactly why until just now: I've been so busy finishing Memories of the Future, I haven't been getting out and doing anything that's interesting enough to warrant more than a passing mention on Twitter. Boy, am I relieved to know that it's not me, it's just my life that's boring at the moment. (Or, um, something like that. That sounded funnier in my head. Anyway, moving on…)
Otis and I are alike in a lot of ways, and often say that I'm the West Coast version of him, and he's the East Coast version of me. The obvious reasons he referred to are all related to the recent birth of his second child, and while my reasons are similar, they are also profoundly different: the child I've been caring for is a bunch of words in a manuscript, not an actual human being in a crib. It's a comparison that probably seems presumptuous and wildly inappropriate to normal people, but if you've ever done work that's creatively demanding, I think you'll be able to understand the parallel.
Speaking of creatively demanding work: Around the middle of the day on Friday, I finally finished all the major rewriting and editing on Memories of the Future, and sent it off to Andrew for judicious application of his Red Pen of Doom. I still need to write the introduction and the acknowledgments, but I think I'm going to put that off for a day or two, because I seriously need to recharge if I want that stuff to be written from a point of view that's enthusiastic and celebratory, not worn down and exhausted.
Before I save this, I wanted to share something I came across this morning that's incredibly valuable for writers. From Ken Levine's blog: What do you do when you get stuck?
point where you think you’ve written yourself into a corner. A plot
point requires something and you just can’t get there. Wait
a minute, he can’t swim to safety; he’s in a wheelchair. Exactly how is
she going to get to the Pope to sell him Girl Scout cookies?
This is one of the benefits of a being in a partnership – sometimes he can solve it.
But when working alone, here are four handy tips…
And now, I'm off to write this week's column for the LA Daily. I'm looking forward to that, because there's an arcade machine involved.