This is not procrastination. This is not the usual fear of failure that stymies me at the beginning of new projects.
This is fallout.
Life has gone all Tennessee Williams on our asses, and it steals a lot of energy–psychic, emotional, physical, spiritual. I’m just not up to starting a massive project like a new novel.
But I want to write.
So I’m going to take another tack. I’m going to sidestep this emotional turmoil. Like one of the fiddler crabs on the shore where I grew up, I’m going to crab-walk to the side, and hit my opponent’s flank.
I’m going to rework an old story.
I know…it sounds weak. Rework an old story? A story in a genre I’m not really interested in anymore? It sounds weak and puny and pretty damned sad.
Well, right now, I am weak and puny and pretty damned sad, so this is just what the doctor ordered.
Here’s what it’ll do for me.
It’s a small project, so it won’t daunt me. I’ll be able to see the finish line from the starting gate, which will encourage me. I’ll be writing something, playing with words, laughing at what I used to think was good writing, and putting some of my newly learned lessons into practice. Even though it’s sci-fi, I like this old story, but it is a product of who I was and the writer I was back then–i.e., it’s clunky and rather simplistic in spots. I want to update it, make it more of a grown-up story, give it more depth. Most importantly, when I’m done, I will have written.
Last night, First Reader reread the original–neither of us remember the details of the story–while I mocked up the cover art. Around midnight, we discussed her opinions, noted the flaws, discussed what I wanted it to be, spitballed some approaches. Then I showed her the cover mock-up. I suggested some changes, but she said, no…the concept is good like it is.
Already I can feel the excitement growing within me. A new novel may be beyond my capacity at the moment, but this…this I can do.