I have a problem. It may require some kind of treatment or therapy, I’m not sure. But it eats at me, absorbing my energies, burning my time, and holding my attention. Every time I think I’m free of it, it hits me again. No matter if it’s 4 a.m. or in the middle of my lunch break, the damned thing happens. And when it happens, it pretty much takes over all of my concentration.
Sounds pretty bad, right?
I actually think it’s a good problem to have.
You see, the problem I’m having is that of too many stories to tell.
Go back ten years, and I would have told you that the only stories I really felt I could tell were running D&D campaigns. I would have said, should you have asked me what I am in this world, that I am a librarian who hopes someday to be a writer. I knew I had the skills, but I never felt like I had an actual story to tell. I would devour books in a day, reveling in that feeling of being absorbed into another world because the author was good enough to pull you into their vision. But I never felt like I was going to be able to do that. I’d look at the book in my hands and not believe that I could do the same.
I don’t know what changed, and I’m not going to probe my psyche too sharply to find out. I’m just going to count my blessings and move forward.
So, at this point, I’m a frustrated writer who also happens to work in a library. The priorities have shifted and it’s in large measure due to finally feeling like I have a story to tell.
If you look at my ‘Projects’ page, you’ll see a number of ideas (‘storylines’ is what I call them) that I have for stories. Some are in draft, some are still just ideas in my head and maybe an outline. But there are a bunch there. And that isn’t all of them.
Counting only the ones that have actual writing done, I’m currently in the middle of seven different storylines; that seventh one just happened a few days ago. And there’s an eighth knocking on my skull, demanding entrance.
I don’t do myself any favors by being so disorganized. It isn’t intentional – I try hard to be organized. But I get on different pages about what is the best method to encourage creative output. I have as many formats as I do storylines: Google Drive, CryptPad, Tails, MS Word, Notepad, files saved on USB, on cloud drives, on my gaming laptop. And little bits of the stories are on each one. Trying to find the bits and put them together into the story I know I have in my head is irritating. I just want to grab them, throw them together, and get back to typing like a maniac. But I’ve done this to myself and if I want the bits, I have to hunt.
Like I said, these are good problems to have. I have stories to tell. Lots of them, apparently. That click in my head that opened up the floodgates of stories also provided the ability to finally put my Literature degree to use. I can read something, enjoy it, but also get inspiration from it. Take notes and allow the alchemy of creativity to prod me in a certain direction or a bit resurface and tell me that it needs to get this twist or that connection.
I don’t know how other authors work (I’ve read Stephen King’s On Writing and it’s the only King book I’ve enjoyed) but some talk about slaving away at pages for 8 hours a day or making a certain page count every day. I can’t do that; it isn’t me. Besides, I have a job already.
I’d say that I’d like my brain to slow down. To stop giving me more storylines to work. But that would be a lie. I’m a writer. This is what I do and the feeling when a storyline is on me is second to none. I’d put it up there with being airborne on a motocross bike or going scuba diving. It’s a rush, a high.
Yep. I’m an addict. Hit me again, brain.