Get Up and Create

Maybe it’s that epic scene you just don’t want to finalize. Or there have been far too many distractions lately, and not enough motivation. The story will begin when the world’s ready—but what does ready mean? Inspiration, whatever that is, is refusing to come. What does all of this mean? There’s something you want to create, but you just can’t get started.

It’s easy to rationalize. To wait and wait, to be distracted by this video game and that extracurricular piece for a game you’re playing in, the writing contest over here or letting Real Life take control over there (not that real emergencies aren’t a good reason for delays, but let’s be honest, for most of us it’s equal parts problems that are really there and problems we create). And it’s easy to be scared of what our grand ideas will look like once we actually put them on paper or in data, and there they are sitting in front of us in black and white. But no amount of rationalization is going to make that plot any more written.

Get up, my friend, get up and create.

It’s good for your confidence; when you’re actually doing something, it may feel like you’re spinning your wheels, but there’s progress, measurable in the page count in the corner.

It means you don’t have to work alone, a useful thing when dealing with a task that seems too big for you. Sure, you lose the chances to keep tweaking and tweaking that scene and basking in the beauty of it, but on the other hand, instead you have a chance at feedback, at knowing whether that one dramatic element you’re leaning on can actually support this scene—and maybe having someone there to suggest another if it turns out what you’ve got can’t do it on its own. How can they help you if there’s nothing for them to help you with?

Some people find that isolation works to get them moving. Others—myself included—prefer deadlines. There might be a carrot, even if it is a time-waster in its own right; or it might work better with the stick, the threat of consequences, loss of something, damage to reputation, whatever works. It really doesn’t matter why you’re getting up and creating. It just matters that you do so.

A world can be built when its elements are needed; a character can be put together on the fly. The scene may be epic, but how are you going to find out if you actually can get there if you don’t set the rest of the story in motion? Wait too long for perfection, you’ll be lucky to get mediocrity. It’s a cliché because it’s true.

Now why are you still sitting here reading this drivel? Get up and create!

3 comments

  1. UZ says:

    Well, I’m at 91K words on my novel, that’s just about two Novembers’ worth in the last two months. The joke is, much like my laundry horror, I have no idea what to do with it once it’s done.

  2. Ravyn says:

    Hm. I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem with that part; I figure the usual process is “revise, find publication outlet (this will get complicated if going for a professional publisher), do whatever needs to be done to make said outlet work, move on to another outlet if that fails… then again, I write just as much wanting to be read as wanting to tell the story. What do you write wanting to do?

  3. UZ says:

    Ah… it’s complicated in this case. The story was originally an AD&D campaign that never happened, and fermented into a novel over the course of a couple of years (not that it’s done yet…)

    The result is that it has several problems, namely:

    1) Certain aspects of the setting are assumed without implication, such as the arcane abilities of one set of characters

    2) The original campaign was railroaded like a theme park ride, which actually makes novelization easier – except for the main character, whose participation in the plot was largely reactive (tabula rasa and all that) and has to be completely overhauled

    3) Thematic consistency is a little poor at times – it is, after all, an environmental action horror romance – and I’m struggling a bit with some aspects of the portrayal, particularly the level of sexualization for the cast as a whole and how it changes over the course of the story. Certain aspects prevent me from keeping it at a family rating, but I’m trying to depict the characters as “maturing” rather than just “going crazy”

    4) My native lunacy is perhaps insufficient in this case for me to believe that anyone, in the end, would want to read it. I’m going to give it to my wife, but I already know that she will have several (valid) criticisms of the work, and I’m not sure in all cases how to address them

    To be honest, I write for different reasons at different times, and it’s not always to be read. This story is a bit of a millstone for me, and writing it out is a way of getting rid of it so that I can think of better things. It’s not a waste of time – it says some things that I don’t think I could say as easily another way – but at the same time it breaks several of my personal guidelines, so it’s kind of a wash overall. It’s more an issue of catharsis.

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