I’ve been thinking a lot about what writing project I’d like to start next–knowing, of course that there won’t be any deadlines involved. Or much in the way of ambition.
(Neither of these are true, by the way. Just me, trying to ambush the inevitable disappointment when all of life does not conspire to be easy and triumphant.)
I have two plots knocking around in my brain: one a contemporary, more lit-fic-ish piece that perhaps resembles my own life too closely (hence the ambivalence to put finger to type pad); the other a companion book to one of
my previous, unsold novels, because I love my cast of characters and spending time with them is an alluring possibility. The only problem is that I can’t seem to come up with a conflict for them that is both dramatic and remotely believable.
I blame too much nonfiction in my diet.
It’s hard to really think clearly about fiction writing when all your recent reading has been essays and biographies and books on childcare. Suddenly all the usual feints and reveals of fiction seem a bit expected. Unreal. Tinselly.
Suddenly I’m bored.
Or, well, unsure. Stoppered. Doubtful. Lacking in creative genius or even (and far more detrimental) the belief in my own creative genius.
All I know is it has to be fun or I won’t do it. I don’t have time for it, and if you’re stealing time you’d better at least make it count. None of this marketability crap for me anymore.
But it won’t be fun if I can’t find the balance between the believable musingness of nonfiction that I love and the simple adventure of fiction that I need.
Until then I keep rolling the ideas around in my mind. Which is, quite possibly, all I have time for anyway. At least until I can–coax or teach, I’m not sure which–this tiny woman to nap in her crib and not, always and without fail, snuggled in my arms.
We’ll see about that.