Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Personal Apocalypse

Four weeks left in the semester, and you'd think I'd be eager for the time off before the next one rolls around. I've griped about research papers, reading chapters and simply attending classes. All said, I should run screaming from the campus come December 22.

But, I'm not feeling the excitement, at least not as I had been. I had grandiose plans on how to spend the six weeks of free time, which included organizing my office (it presently looks like the bookshelves and file draws barfed), read some books that have sat collecting dust, and last but not least, begin writing in either a new work, or in one already started.

Simply put, I'll most likely organize my office and read one book, for the inner critic has already began chewing on the latter of the three. For weeks I've looked forward to writing again. I even found a kick-ass writing group to join, which involved rejoining RWA, but this new group felt right, so I jumped on board. No regrets there.

Regret comes with my shiny new idea, which had evolved over the past few weeks, and then yesterday kicked up a notch with, what I thought, a stellar revelation. It took on that "love at first sight" feeling. I felt all warm and fuzzy and actually felt its promise and strength.

And then I shared the idea with another. That's where self-doubt reared its ugly-assed head. Other person brought up some thoughts on my idea, such as, where's the conflict, what about this character, what if this one did this, that, etc., etc.,?

My answer: I don't know. Not one answer sprang to mind and suddenly I felt my lofty feeling nose dive into the jaws of ugly inner critic. All my wonderful ideas lost momentum. Worse yet, I was reminded of the fact that eventually I'd have to share my story with others. Do I want to go through all that again? All those "constructive" criticisms were all but forgotten. My thick skin somehow shed a few layers while working on my degree. Am I ready to hear things such as, "What's your character's GMC?" I'm still having trouble figuring an answer to that question for the last six manuscripts I've written, of which only three completed. Perhaps the last three are left unfinished because I don't have answers to questions such as "What's your character's GMC?"

Humbling experience, this writing path. It takes you from the stratosphere to ground zero in one fell swoop. Do I need the aggravation? Is there enough Xanax in the world to assist in my endeavor to cough up yet another unfinished manuscript? My ducks in a row have fallen to the sniper's buck-shot. Woe is me...

Sometimes I think being away from writing is a lot like quitting an exercise routine (which I have since school began). Gravity has defeated muscle. In order to get back in the groove, I'll have to start off slowly; small jogs and thirty ab-crunches in order to wake up the body. But what will it take to wake up my muse, or at least to get her out of the cave she skittered off to when my shiny new story idea first went into question.

Putting the writing wheels back in motion is more daunting, I believe, than keeping up my GPA. How to recapture my euphoria, that's the question of the day.