Writing has been difficult for the past year and a half. It's not from a shortage of ideas. I'm drowning in ideas right now, and I think if I could sell ideas I'd never have to work again.
But I haven't been able to write most of these ideas myself. It's been a struggle ever since I finished "From the Cup of the Worthless". At first I thought it was because I was depressed, or that I'd started to overextend my use of similar themes. I managed to pump out "Fearless" really quickly, and I hoped I was back on track, but then a dozen more false starts brought me back to nothing. I eventually started "Weightless", which turned out the be the most difficult story I'd ever written. I dedicated it to my long-used muse as a sort of going away present, vowing to stay away from gay teen high school romances from that point forward.
I thought I had a clean slate, and with that I'd have the ability to make a fresh start with all the ideas floating around in my head.
And then I didn't write another novel until March, despite another dozen false starts which seemed to indicate I had something to write. I was in a relationship at the time, a great, amazing, uplifting relationship, which is when I started to get it through my head that maybe I could only write from a place of negativity, that I could only write if I was unhappy.
I cloistered myself, dropping everything but work and writing, and I wrote a 70,000 word novel (which I'm currently submitting to literary agents, which is why no one has seen it) in 9 days, the fastest I've ever written anything. I thought I'd figured out the cure, that if all I did was focus on something I could get it done.
But here I am, three months later, and, you may have guessed, another dozen false starts in my data banks. And it's really starting to suck.
Today I had a bit of a realization, brought on by a conversation with another artist friend. What if it's not the muse, like I assumed during "Weightless", but the message that I'm struggling with? I've always tried to communicate a certain theme. What if I feel I've already explored that theme in all the ways I can conceive of through writing so far?
I think I'm on the right track. I think I know what I need to do. I need to figure out what it is I want to communicate through my art, and I think everything else will fall back into place.
It's time for a little self-diplomacy.