Friday, April 23, 2010

Six impossible things before breakfast

Often when we write, and - I think - particularly often when we write speculative fiction, we talk about the willing suspension of disbelief. The ability to ask the reader to, for the moment of the story, believe that something impossible is true.

For me, this willing suspension of disbelief is not just something I ask of my readers when I give them stories about a woman who loses her bits of herself in the pages of someone else's stories, or statues that disappear, or nightmares that become corporeal. I also ask it of myself every time I sit down to write.

From a writing perspective, this week has been fairly rubbish. To be honest, from an everything perspective, this week has been fairly rubbish. I've been dealing with some unfortunate personal business that has taken up large swaths of my daylight hours, and left me wrung out, irritable, and exhausted by dinner. Up until yesterday evening, I hadn't managed to write anything this week. It was almost worse than being stuck on a story, because at least when I'm stuck, I'm sitting down in front of the open notebook and trying. 

I couldn't even bring myself to try.

Finally, I told myself that even a sentence was better than nothing. I wrote 250 words, and figured out an Important Plot Complication. A moral victory more than anything else, but enough of one I no longer feel lost.

Every time I finish something, part of me worries that is the last story I'll be able to tell. Not that I'll run out of ideas, but that I'll lose the ability to turn an idea into a story. Particularly on days when I haven't been able to write, or write well, recently, sitting down at that notebook, and picking up the pen, is an act of blind faith It's an act of conscious imagination, perhaps not a willing suspension of disbelief, but a willed one. A decision to jump, and trust the the story will be there to catch me.

No comments:

Post a Comment