Accepting the Pants

In the planning phase, I can always see everything so clearly.  I get to know the characters I’m going to write about. I can just see my settings, feel the feelings and ambiences I want to evoke. I can see how my characters will change trough the story, and what major revelations they will have. But then… Then it’s time for the nitty gritty.

Figuring out exactly how all of this happens; the details; everything between the cool bits that will tie everything together. God how I hate it!

This is also the place where I often loose my magic. I can’t figure everything out, so I take a break. When I’m on my break I have fun. I think of other things. I read, listen to or watch other stories. And when I get back to my story… I’ve lost my connection to it and any desire to continue it. I’ll often have a new and shiny idea that I want to write about instead.

This is a pattern for me, more so really than I care to admit. I have a thousand discarded stories. When I find them again, I can’t understand why I didn’t continue writing them. Then I’ll usually try to pick them up again, change a few things around to make it work better. And then… I have to get those details down again, and the cycle continues.

So how do I break it? I could just sit myself down, dedicate a weekend and get those details down. But I think I stumbled upon a solution last summer when I panted my way trough a first draft of a story. Granted, the draft was horrible, almost unusable. But I stuck with it, and now I can’t get that story out of my head. I’ve been churning it around in my head for almost a year now. Not constantly, of course, but regularly. And I think I have found solutions to many of the problems with it.

So, am I a pantser? I have always thought of myself as a planner. I’ve even thought of pantsing as a lazy copout. And here I am. The most successful I’ve ever really been in writing has been by panting.

Perhaps its a matter of hours invested? Time spent in this imaginary world of mine? It has taken a lot of time for me to process this. I’ve reached this conclusion before, but I haven’t really accepted it. But now, almost a year later, perhaps I can get to terms with being a pantser?

Dreams

We all dream of something. No matter where we are in life. We all have a sense of desire for something, wether that is within the professional sphere, the personal, or both. But when do we allow our dreams breathing room?

I’ve been a dreamer all my life. When I was little, I dreamt all day long. I didn’t care about how rational my dreams where, just how likely they where to come true. Back then, my dreams where just wonderful in themselves, they existed as a part of me and gave me fuel and courage. Not to pursue them, really, there was just something about letting this other dimension of dreams exist inside my mind that helped me not to be so worried about what went on around me.

Escapist? Perhaps, but also the source of many of the thoughts and feelings, about myself and the world, that has formed me into the person I am to day. I think the freedom I allowed my mind trough dreaming as a child has helped me step out of my own shoes, and limited experience, and made me more open minded and imaginative.

I don’t dream like I used to, though. I expect that’s just natural for a person as they grow up. But I do miss the freedom of my mind back then. I miss the way I would entertain thoughts so freely and not feel like I had to justify what went on in my own mind. I miss it, and I think that it is something valuable that I’ve lost.

That’s not to say it can’t be found again once lost. But for now, I miss it.

The Glow

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in to-do lists and external obligations that I loose… it. The inner feeling that practically glows in my chest when I cultivate my inner world. I don’t know if this is something others can relate to, but I think it probably is. Perhaps you don’t exactly feel a glow, but I think most people have experienced that feeling of being completely in line with one self.

I get this feeling when I spend time in my own company, consume media that is in line with this feeling, or make the space around me nice. There are certain books that I have taken so completely in as part of my experience that, when I read them, they immediately light this glow inside of me. Although sometimes I experience this with completely new books as well, that just fall in line with this feeling. On the flip side, there are things that I feel suck that glow right out of me.

This glow is also linked with my creativity. And I feel that: whenever I loose this feeling, I can’t make anything right. What I write can be alright or even good, but it won’t have that spark… It won’t be a product of me in the same way as the things I write when I feel that glow.

I don’t know if this might be a little spaced, but I realize this again and again whenever I try to squeeze inn some writing in a hectic schedule. I have to find my glow again and again, re-centering myself and clearing out all the influences that dims it. I feel like I’m getting better at finding this feeling, but I still loose it regularly and have to find it again.

Moving Ahead

When we can’t see where we’re going, we naturally veer slightly to the right. That way we go in a big circle and end up at the place we started, and we won’t get lost. Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve been walking in circles like this (metaphorically, of course). And I think it has to do with a lack of focus and not being able to see a goal.

In September I had quite a lot of projects, and I would work on (almost) all of them when I felt like it. The result was that I got exhausted from splitting my attention between school, writing and other activities. In the end I just ran between the tasks that demanded my attention, and my creative projects rarely made the top of that list.

Honestly I don’t feel like I have that much to show for September, at least I don’t feel like it is proportional to the amount of effort and energy I’ve spent. And so I feel like I’ve walked in a circle: I have covered a great distance, but without actually getting anywhere.

This month though, I want to be more goal-oriented. One thing I wanted to do is to write for my blog… et voila! I hope better planning on my part will help me prioritize and make progress in the things I want to do. Last month, I had a great many things I wanted to do, but I hadn’t set actual goals for any of it. So I want to set goals for this month that are realistic, and tangible. And hopefully I will be able to move forward in the month of October.