Thursday, February 2, 2012
Sometimes I hate my brain. Whenever I need it the most, like when edits come in or on blog-posting day, it either freezes up on me or starts reminding me about all the other stuff that needs to get done, like laundry or the dishes or that fire on the stove that just burned lunch, and now I not only need to clean the kitchen, I have to go to the store. I have a PhD in procrastination. As long as I jog along Put-Off Drive, my brain is more than happy to cooperate.
Sometimes, though, the evil bastard chooses to throw me a curve. I’ll be working away (finally!) at my WIP of choice when all of a sudden my muse goes ninja and a new idea hits me out of nowhere. If the WIP is giving me grief and no deadlines are involved, this can be a blessing. I suspect it happens because Mr. Brain is bored or tired of having to wrestle with the same plot points for months on end (I write really slow) so it comes up with something new to amuse itself, and distract me from my regular work in the process. The bitch.
One time nasty Mr. Brain nearly screwed me bad. I was working on a legitimate book when the muse suddenly decided she wanted to write fan fiction. Normally I wouldn’t mind, but I like getting paid for my writing—money really comes in handy when bill time rolls around—and you don’t get paid for fanfic. So I tried to stick with the “real” writing, but it was a helluva struggle. The other plotlines kept intruding, to the point I could barely focus on the paying project. I ended up writing several scenes longhand just to work it out of my system. The compulsion ran about three weeks before it finally faded.
Some good did come out of the experience: the fanfic led me into writing a legitimate book with original characters, which I did end up getting paid for. The longhand pages I scribbled in a white heat of creative fury are currently sitting in one of my many spiral notebooks, a wealth of concepts waiting to be mined for future original works.
I’m going through a similar situation now. I’ve been working off and on on a M/M shapeshifter story. Parts of it are fine, other parts need help. I guess Mr. Brain got tired of my farting around, because another plot I’d been toying with came bursting out of my subconscious like Venus from the sea foam and shouted, “Write me! Write me now!” So now I’m working on that one while the shifters take a break. Maybe the respite is what the story needs. Guess I’ll find out, unless Mr. Brain waylays me again with yet another bright idea. Sometimes I wish it would steer me into an easier profession, like heart surgery. A writer’s life is never dull.