I’ve told people for the past 21 months (since starting class in June 2010) that my creativity has suffered since starting school. That the same brain energies required to write Pulitzer-winning fiction was the same juice to do schoolwork.
Honestly, I only somewhat believed it. I knew the mental processes were linked, but I couldn’t be sure, so it was honestly partial cop-out, and partially true. At least, that’s how it felt at the time.
Now? I think was more than on the money.
I’ve been past my bachelor’s requirement for about three weeks, and after vegging out and doing nothing mentally strenuous (sometimes as much while at work as while at work), my brain is on fire. I’m waking up with ideas, struck with inspiration in the middle of other tasks, daydreaming again with such clarity and detail that I’m flabbergasted. Was all this just waiting? Or is my brain how free to re-engage those energies to what I really want to spend more time doing? I dunno, but I like it.
I’ve had some absolutely phenomenal character development ideas and story twists that change upcoming stories I’ve been planning for years. For those of you who don’t know, I’m writing my sixth novel, and I’ve got more than 30 planned. Some stories I’m working on won’t even be officially started for 3-4 years, and I’ve been planning them for as long already. As I grow as a writer and creative-thinker, I realize why it took Christopher Nolan 15 years to write “Inception.” Sometimes stories of the kind of depth and intensity you want to write just take time to mull over.
It also makes me wonder how good my current series will turn out since I took very little time between the moment of inspiration and the beginning of writing. However, the more I write this 7-book series, the more ideas I get about going back to modify things about earlier books that I hope will manifest themselves in the editing process to promote a re-evolution of the story and add depth.
My current project is a seven-book series reboot of the Peter Pan myth for adults. We’re not talking romance novels, but they’re not for children. If you’d like to follow me on Facebook, look me up at http://www.facebook.com/crosswriter.
As a young writer, you grow up wanting to get published by Tor or Bantam or other major publisher. You want the fanfare and big check that comes with it, but as I grow older, I realize the integrity and quality of my story, in addition to my control of it, becomes far more important. My responsibility is to hire an editor that will force me to grow as a writer, who will tell me when I need to fix things and when other parts are terrible, and knows how to craft the story. But I don’t need Bantam stylizing it for the greater public to make it more pop-friendly.
I don’t want to market test my story. It’s my story, and I want it to be the best it can be, not sculpted at loss for marketability with soccer moms and older teens. My story is for the adult reader who loved Peter Pan as a child and wants to see the realism and fantasy simultaneously grow in intensity and believability. I take the story to a new realm that while not fully original (what is?), it’s a uniquely delicious experience.
It’s like food. You’ve eaten the same seven ingredients your entire life, but how they’re put together is what makes a meal more than just food, and I won’t have what I create turned into fast food. It will be for those who love what I have to tell, however it comes.
So, I will use my own small multimedia firm, Scroll Media, and will continue my tradition of laying everything out, developing, and cover-designing it, and setting it both as a print-on-demand for my ludite fans, but otherwise preparing it for a quality digital distribution. It’s the future of storytelling, and I will manage my own literary future. Should I ever decide to publish my stories in a mass book production in conjunction with a pre-existing publisher, it will be under limited conditions — they get a portion of distribution and print profits, but they will exercise no creative control over it whatsoever. This is mine and mine alone, barring any credit I offer to God for inspiration and the bestow of skills to me in the first place.
In any event, it’s a very inspiring experience lately as story ideas have poured out of the yin-yang. Crazy! Have a great weekend!