I had been thinking something along the lines of this post for a couple of days, but (appropriately enough) couldn’t get it done, and then Neil Gaiman helped out by posting this a few minutes ago.
Sometimes [writing]’s like driving through fog. You can’t really see where you’re going. You have just enough of the road in front of you to know that you’re probably still on the road, and if you drive slowly and keep your headlamps lowered you’ll still get where you were going.
I envy Mr. G. his foggy drive right now. I really want to be writing. I have this mental itch that really wants to be scratched. I’ve got this idea that if I could just write some things, I might be able to get some things published. Little things – I’m actually fantasizing about science fiction short stories right this minute. Not worrying about novels or anything right now. I’m actually being a realist for once, and realists know that you break into genre writing – at least, sci fi and fantasy writing, which seems to be my fiction niche – a little nibble at a time.
Unfortunately, I am – as I said – being a realist for once. And the realist realizes that I have absodamnlutely nothing to write. (That was a tmesis, by the way. I’m a big fan of tmesis.)
I kind of want to write YA fiction. But I’m not sure I remember what it was like to be a YA. I’m not sure I could write with that voice – I’ve tried, and it feels forced. I’m not sure I was ever a YA reader, you know? I was reading adult lit when I was in grade school.
I feel like you ought to write things from a place of personal experience. But what do I have to share? The only thing that consumes my life and all my mental energy is teaching. And what’s there to say? Who wants to read about being a teacher? And where would I find the energy to sift through my job to create fiction?
So maybe I should write nonfiction. But again… I am just not feeling it.
So I am in this whiny, obnoxious place where I simultaneously want to write and won’t write. Ha ha! Joke is on me!
I can’t help but think that if I could go on a writer’s retreat of my own (I’m envisioning a tiny cabin, somewhere wooded but not too secluded) that I just might be able to wade through the fog and write something. And hey, if that involved tea with Neil Gaiman and Stephen King, that’d be okay with me.