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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Creative Constipation

It's funny how frustrating creative constipation can be.
Well, funny for everyone else, I suppose.
For me, it's been like my brain is bung-ed up and I have a constant noise in my mind with all the ideas and possibilities crammed together in a teeny, tiny space. I imagine my resulting bitchiness has been a delight to be around.

I wrote a story several years ago, and have been avoiding the dreaded rewrite. But seriously, this shit needs to be done - the story has potential. The major flaws in it are the main veins of the story, though. And I've been wracking my brain for almost three weeks trying to iron out the answers. Because they involve the very roots of the story, and I don't want to lose certain elements, it's been excruciating trying to find the answer.

When I'm working, I'm thinking about The Story. When I'm driving, I'm thinking about The Story. When I'm doing homework with the kids, I'm thinking about The Story. Virtually everything I do has been permeated by this fucking Story.

But last night, I had a breakthrough. And it was from - as Tolkien said, - "The unlikeliest of creatures." My very un-literary, guitarist-husband, Kyle.

I was ranting about my creative constipation (again) and I concluded with, "-AND IT'S SO FUCKING FRUSTRATING! It would be as if you had a song you couldn't figure out!"
He uncharacteristically answered wisely: "Well, when I can't figure out a song, it usually means I have to figure out my tuning. Maybe you just need to figure out your tuning?"

I think I probably growled in response, but I then had a long, hot bath and thought about what he said.
Change my tuning.
Maybe I was looking at these plot knots all wrong. Maybe if I changed how I was looking at my story, and changed what I expected my character to do, and why, I could muddle through this.

I ended up soaking in the tub for over an hour just pondering my story and I worked through a few points, but I wasn't there yet. I still kept asking myself WHY on a few elements.

So I went to sleep, and got up with the kids to get them ready for school.
As they were eating breakfast, I was in the kitchen stretching.
*BACK STORY* Just so this next part makes sense, I have been suffering some massive back pain, as well as working 2 jobs to frantically cover our finances, while dealing with some stressful family drama. 
So the husband walks in, and I'm bent over touching my toes, and I moan about how sore my back is, and he replies, "Why? From carrying the weight of the family on it?" (Lol, smart-ass!)
And just like that, the fog lifted. His comment made everything click into place with my story. I didn't need to keep asking why, why, why does my character has to do all these things, and sacrifice everything? She has to. Just like I am stuck doing what I have to everyday, she has to sacrifice as well. It's just the card we were dealt.

And like that, the floodgates are open. Ideas and answers are flowing like a freakin' river!
But, of course, I have no time to write.
I have to go to work.
*le sigh*

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