I’ve done a lot of thinking about writing lately. And I’ve written a lot about it in my journal. And I’ve planned for it in no less than two task management systems. Yet the novels remain unwritten. I’ve realized recently that two primary issues are preventing me from sitting down and making the emotional and physical commitment:
First, I need consistent blocks of at least half a day of uninterrupted time to engage the characters and the story. I must have space to allow my mind to shift away from the many and pressing demands of the everyday into the freedom of my imagination. I can write page after page in rapid succession when I have the intellectual room to do so. So far I haven’t been able to sit down and write two or three pages a day on a schedule. I’m either not wired that way or I simply don’t have the discipline to make it happen.
Second, structure seems to stifle me. I’ve tried to order my writing with detailed outlines, notes, storyboards, sections, what have you. When I do this my writing dies. Structure is a straightjacket for my imagination. It probably means I’m trying to structure my writing too early or some such bullshit, but I just know that I write best when unfettered by a “plot” or some other goal. I want to follow the story my imagination organically develops. This is why I need the uninterrupted time and intellectual space to create. For my short stories this practice created some good results. Whether it works for a book length project remains to be seen. Because I haven’t done it yet. Because I need the time.
For the past 10 years time has been the issue–or the excuse. I wonder how much longer it will remain such.