I have about a dozen unfinished pieces of fiction sitting around right now. Some are at the 0th draft stage; some are barely even written. Only one of them appeals strongly enough to me to do anything about it, yet every time I sit down to write, I don’t know where or how to begin. That’s a tough project anyway because the structure is pretty experimental, and I’d like to get it right. Right now, I don’t believe I have what I need to do that. I’m so indifferent towards the rest that I wonder if I’ll ever write fiction again. (And the back of my mind says, “Really? Have you forgotten yourself? You can’t help writing fiction.”)
Part of the problem is having so many things in the queue. The other issue is that I don’t know which of them is worth the effort. The so-called language trilogy pretty much had me by the throat until China Mieville published Embassytown, doing lightyears better with a similar concept than I could manage if I had another thousand years to write. Besides, I could never finish the last story. It ended up too loose, too many characters, too far from what I wanted it to be. I also still ponder the time travel story that I was supposed to have finished for The Piker Press almost two years ago. That one got really complex, and although I have a pretty solid idea of how to handle it, I haven’t really thought much about the writing itself. And I still haven’t finished the formatting and editing of the collection of Jack’s stories.
I have excuses. Legitimate, if not good, excuses. But what excuse do I really have for not writing at all? I do keep a journal, but it quickly becomes a catalog of dull daily life and overly bleak emotional landscape. I’ve tried to meditate, but I can’t keep a clear, empty mind. Even when depression isn’t scattering my thoughts like dandelion fluff, I can’t stop the train of thoughts. I’d need guided meditation for that to work, so I write instead. What I don’t do is ignore the idea of storytelling. Not everything I write in my journal needs to be about something. It’s like I’ve forgotten how to use the damn thing and why I ever started keeping a journal in the first place.
I am, at least, writing something. Mostly poetry. I’ve always found poetry easier than fiction. I know that’s a debatable idea, but it’s true for me. Most of the time. When I’m writing at all.
Now I need to force myself to go out and get some errands done even though it’s cold and I hate cold and all I want to do is hibernate. Not sitting in the house all day is probably a good thing, despite the cold.