The Verdict | Creativity Workshop Goals, Week 5

6 Jun

Merrilee Faber, when this trilogy in my head gets written, revised, bought, and published, I’m going to mail a big thank-you to Australia for your brilliance in running this workshop.

That’s right.  Trilogy.  Sort of a far cry from short-story.  Not a word of it is written yet, except for page upon page of ideas, but OH MY.  It’s epic.  It’s adventurous.  It’s currently all in my head.  I want it out.

But, I digress.¹

Oh, boy, the Creativity Workshop this week.  Perhaps I should begin with how last Sunday suddenly morphed into Saturday night, and six full days mysteriously slipped through a black hole?  To be fair, time passed at warp-speed because I was furiously devoted to novel edits, but the result — as far as #CreateWS is concerned — is the same.

Notebook.  Blank.  Ideas, existing only in my head, curled up to sleep beside my good intentions.

How lame, I thought.  Lame, lame, lame.  Must fix. Not at all content to tell you guys, “Hey, guess what?  I didn’t do one single thing toward the workshop this week, and I’m okay with it because of (insert some valid excuse here),” I set to work on it.  Last night.  At 10pm.

Yeah, so that didn’t work too well.  Sweet husband and I got invited to a concert, and though we did not go, the invitation itself distracted me.  Plus, I made us some tea, and found myself distracted by the boiling, the steeping, the drinking.  We somehow ended up tackling four loads of laundry instead, and my notebook remained blank.  (Wait.  Lie.  Not totally blankI managed to transcribe the entire three lines of my nursery rhyme inspiration, “Sailing, Sailing,” before giving up.)

This morning, I woke up with the sun, while my husband and the two cats slept.  I brewed a fresh French press, ate some toast, and tried again.

Um, this time?  MAGIC.  Magic, magic, magic.  Epic magic.  In my head, on the page, frantic scribbles in my little green notebook.  Ideas.  Characters.  Twists, lies, hope, jealousy, love, loss, bitterness.  Adventure.  A quest.  Mystery.

Pretty soon, I became fairly certain this would not a short story make.  It would a LONG story make.  Like, maybe three long stories.  Complications, twists, motivations snaked their way out of my pen and onto the page, building upon each other to weave a surprisingly coherent, intriguing, tight idea for a plot.

Moral of this week’s story?  It is SO worth it to at least try to do something on these workshop stories, even if it’s at the last minute.  To give it time, real time, along with real thought.

Worth.  It.

I desperately want to vomit my ideas onto the screen, but that sort of thing tends to jinx me until the story is at least somewhat underway.  Sorry to be all, YAY FOR IDEAS and then, NO I WON’T REVEAL ANYTHING.  I plan to pursue this project, so stick around and I’m bound to tell you more at some point in the future.  If you really want to know, email me, and I’ll probably be too excited to hold back, once pressed.

So, the plan.  I’m pressing on with the workshop.  The next set is all about stories inspired by song lyrics about birds, and I’m excited.  I have a surprise in store for you guys, so check back early in the week.

As for my trilogy idea, I’m trying to figure out when is best to do something on it.  On one hand, I’m thigh-deep in revisions for my WIP.  I’m determined to finish that one, and finish it well.  So, that remains priority.  Also, the workshop has given me great new inspiration, many new tools, and I have committed to it, so I’m going to keep that as a priority.

I’m thinking I’ll try to write for fifteen or thirty minutes a day on the trilogy idea, something short and consistent to both a) get my writing juices flowing, and b) maintain a connection to these ideas I’ve had.  Once the workshop is over, I’ll focus more energy on the new project.  Once I’m done with edits and in the querying phase for my current WIP, I’ll focus even more energy on it.

As if I needed more stuff to do.  The good thing, though, is that I’m SO EXCITED about all of it.  No, I didn’t write a short story this week, but I have my next novel project lined up.  What I need now is patience, and the ability to focus my enthusiasm.  No deserting the current projects, no sacrificing the almost-finished for the not-even-started.

This post is long enough.

¹I have ALWAYS wanted to say I digress, but I think this is actually the first time I ever have.  Just FYI.

10 Responses to “The Verdict | Creativity Workshop Goals, Week 5”

  1. J.C Sunday / 6 June 10 at 2:37 pm #

    That is so exciting! I’m so thrilled for you!!! It sounds like this idea has really swept you away so I am super impressed you’re sticking with all your current projects and planning to find some small slices of time for it. Well done you!
    It is so hard not to just give into that shiny new idea, but I find that it almost always works out better not to. In the long run.

  2. Linda Cassidy Lewis Sunday / 6 June 10 at 2:46 pm #

    It sounds to me like you have just too much excitement down there in Texas … so send a little my way!

    I admire your self-discipline more than you’ll ever know. Hey, while you’re at it, just send a little of that my way too. :-)

    Since I already know what your little surprise is, I am excited about that.

  3. Linda Cassidy Lewis Sunday / 6 June 10 at 2:47 pm #

    How ridiculous, I used little three times in that comment.

  4. AuroraLee Sunday / 6 June 10 at 3:17 pm #

    That… is awesome! It’s so wonderfully frustrating! Wonderful to have these ideas… frustrating to have other priorities that stop one from playing with the new ideas. Writing about each day on it is another wonderfully frustrating idea as well. :) Good to keep it in the brain… bad cause I’d probably not want to put the pen down :P

    Good luck!

    I’ve been really great at coming up with IDEAS through the course of the workshop… not so great at coming up with enough stories and plots and ‘meat’ to really make anything out of it… maybe when a few other things are done my brain will be a little bit more empty and ready to think on the ideas more!

  5. Merrilee Sunday / 6 June 10 at 5:37 pm #

    Kayla, I expect a signed copy in my mailbox when it’s done. I mean that :)

    I’m absolutely delighted to be the catalyst (however distant!) for a new novel idea. And your discipline and focus? Inspirational. In fact I’m all excited myself just hearing you talk about it – I love that feeling you get when you know you’re on to a winner :)

    Waiting with bated breath for the surprise…?

  6. Megs - Scattered Bits Sunday / 6 June 10 at 7:54 pm #

    Sounds like delicious, exciting fun! I love it when inspiration finally strikes. Naturally, when I say this, I don’t (as many think I do) mean that I only write when inspiration strikes. I mean, rather, that after inviting the muse, churning out junk, staring at blank pages, and otherwise working my tail off to get some keepable words, finally something—SOMETHING—cracks and REAL words come. REAL ideas. Stuff that stands up to the cold light of day.

    Ah! What delights!

    I’m glad you chugged away at it until victory was at hand!

    As a side note, I LOVE the phrase, but I digress. :)

    To answer your question, I’m working on… Hmm. How best to summarize? Let us begin by referring you to http://talktoyouniverse.blogspot.com/2010/06/reassessing-your-trajectory.html. Juliette Wade has finally written the article I’ve been looking for since my painful, spurty, start-stop return to writing after the horrible, soul-destroying process of walking away from Portal. And it fits. The one thing I’ve never really had is an overall trajectory.

    While I did finally find some pieces that could turn into a novel I WANT to write (wonderful breakthrough that—I must refer you here: http://www.rabiagale.com/2010/06/01/using-index-cards-to-structure-your-novel/), I have NEVER had a solid trajectory. Okay, once. But I was a kid, younger than thirteen. Doesn’t quite count.

    Now, I’ve grown up. I’ve experienced a whole lot of pain and heartache and stretching and wing growth and soul stability and confidence building and clarification since then. So now, when put the question: what is my overall goal for writing AT ALL?—ay! I tremble in my boots.

    I have no idea.

    And so I sort of stopped, set down all my stories and short stories (not the character though, I KNOW she’s the one) and even articles and thoughts and dreams, and took a good look at my own heart. I’m looking for my trajectory. I see glimmerings of it. I see edges of it. But I need to know the heart of it.

    And if I can find THAT, I think I’ll be on my way.

  7. Davina Pearson Monday / 7 June 10 at 3:33 am #

    We somehow ended up tackling four loads of laundry instead, and my notebook remained blank.
    This made me laugh, since I had a very similar experience the other night – I ended up sorting out all my clothing drawers instead of getting on with my revisions!

    Congratulations on the trilogy idea – sounds like your mind’s definitely getting creative! It’s wonderful to see your enthusiasm and I hope when you get to writing it the words just flow on to the page for you.

  8. joyofdawn Monday / 7 June 10 at 10:38 am #

    Oh! Oh! Oh! Now I’m all excited! Glad you have such a great idea after your week of revisions!
    Now I want to go back to the stories I was working on before the workshop. That will be way too distracting. I’ve such a great idea for this week!
    Can’t wait to hear more about your trilogy! Now off to do the laundry and pick up the house. :)

  9. mew Tuesday / 8 June 10 at 9:53 am #

    So cool, Kayla. I love that you got a trilogy out of your dogged persistence! I’m excited for you. :)

    I don’t reveal anything about stories in progress, either. I learned years ago that telling someone all about it translated to my subconscious as “telling the story,” in which event it sort of lost steam and excitement to tell the story all over again on paper. So I keep that stuff close to my chest until it’s written down.

    So sorry I haven’t been around to comment lately. I had some internet connectivity issues. :(

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Verdict | Creativity Workshop Goals, Week 6 « Owl and Sparrow - Wednesday / 16 June 10

    [...] Sporadically throughout the week, I worked on editing my novel and made decent progress.  On Saturday, I planned, wrote, and completed my workshop story.  It’s short and sad, but it is complete.  It was challenging, and I neither hate it nor love it.  On Sunday morning, I awoke to 6:15AM inspiration and started working on the trilogy I told you guys about last week. [...]

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