For some past months, I’ve been trying to work on writing my ninth novel, but I’ve been easily distracted lately… with almost everything else. Yes, my insomnia and some related and other health challenges are a good excuse, but that isn’t really it. Just when I didn’t really think ‘writer’s block’ was ever a problem for me, I realized I’ve got bit by that bug a bit too. I don’t sit and stare at a blank screen, but I avoid sitting at the screen. I’ve worked on writing in the midst of such insomnia zombie fuzzy head troubles before. Most of my writing, and in fact all of my novels, have been written in my torturous insomnia years. In fact, in recent years, I write much more when I’m sick, living in migraine-ville or brain-dead on continual sleepless nights, because I don’t really feel up to much of anything else. Writing is what I do when I don’t feel well enough to work on my paintings, paint walls around inside the house, do gardening outside or sewing inside, cooking or cleaning ‘round here, going shopping, having company over or throwing parties. And etcetera.
No, I think a good part of my NOT working on my latest fictional work comes down to subconsciously not really wanting to. I’m not normally prone to writer’s block, but this ‘time round’ I keep finding other things to work on instead, all the while I keep trying to tell myself to get back to my writing. It’s not that I don’t like the main character (because I do love her) and it’s not that I don’t like the idea I’ve started (l definitely like it), nor that my Muse doesn’t want to work with me (she’s frequently over my shoulder hounding me to get back at it!), nor that the ideas don’t keep pouring in (too many, in fact!). Even though I haven’t been actually writing much, I’ve been mulling a good deal in the background (while doing other things). The story could go this way, or that way or many other ways altogether. I could write, write, write, but I just can’t bring myself to do any harm to my lovely young heroine. I’ve about decided that the reason I’m avoiding writing this story is because I know that my beloved, honorable, dear main character is going to go through some unhappy rough stuff before she gets through to the other side to her happy ending. I don’t like to put my ‘children’ through any unhappiness, but, life is like that and we have to forge forward. Right?
It was a little like that for me when writing ‘The Musician’ because the heroine was going to have to face some abuse and heartbreak. I find it far easier to smile and laugh whilst I write. I never thought I could write a comedy, but the lighthearted stories I’ve worked on have been easier to write than the more serious ones, because staying on the surface, such as poking fun at female foibles and social silliness, doesn’t tap into any hurt. But to subject my main character to any pains of living, is a more difficult thing to tackle. I wish I was born to write comedy, because THAT would be delightful. It’s too bad comedy can be the hardest to write well, because writing fun stuff is the easiest. Sadly, I tend toward the melodramatic, but I don’t want to put my dear characters through the hardships. That’s the kind of mother I’ve always been inclined towards. I want to protect, rescue and defend my children so that they won’t suffer anything that I did. But, you can’t protect your children from everything, especially the older they get.
And so, I suppose I’m in a type of ‘catch 22’ situation. I’d love to just write lighthearted and sarcastic comedies in the style of Jane Austen, but I’m melodramatically wired more to think along the lines of the Bronte sisters. I’ve got a few more light and fun stories up my sleeves, but there are far more seriously dramatic tales on my back burners. And, you see, my Muse has cornered me once again and insists that I finish at least another somewhat somber adventure before I get to ride with some chuckles and smiles the writing while…