Wednesday, September 02, 2009

This writing business is strange. You can go for weeks, even months, having nothing to say, no story to tell, and then suddenly, characters start swimming about in your head, begging for you to pair them up, let them meet the other characters, and conversations and random phrases begin ricocheting around until you have the compulsive urge to get them all out on paper before you go nuts.

And then, one day, it just stops. The voices stop calling to you, the characters dull and lose their lustre. Pretty soon, every person seems the same to you, and you think their desires and hopes and fears are practically similar to everyone else's. Nothing sparks your writing anymore, and you decide to take a break.

I've not written a short story in half a year. The last one I wrote was Smeared Canvas, if I'm not mistaken. I just reread it and thought, "Wow, I wrote this? How is that even possible?" Because it didn't seem possible that I could have written something as coherent as that, with properly sketched characters and plot, at all. How could I have, when I can't think of anything right now, much less string together character and plot to weave a compelling narrative piece? As some writer said before, our greatest fears as writers is for the well to run dry. Is this my well running dry? Have I become so attuned and desensitised to humankind (and oh, at the mere age of 18!) and the futility of life and our struggles that I no longer see the need to chronicle the lives of people I create in my own mind? Am I no longer able to see people, or have I simply lost the curiosity?

The last time I went on a short story-writing spree was because I had a case of the proverbial writer's block for my novel, Bedful of Moonlight. Right now, though, I'm itching to write a short story again despite relatively smooth sailing for the current novel I'm working on, Mint. But the muse is taking a vacation.

And I don't know when it will come back.

WILL it come back?

5 comments :

J.L said...

Hi Joyce!

Don't worry, it will come back. I'm not really a writer, but sometimes i will think of many short what-ifs in my life. hmm.. try going out, make observations, writing about yourself perhaps? Think and think of topics that interest you, like what Jodi Picoult did. I'm currently reading My Sister's Keeper and i'm just really amazed at how she get ideas for her novels. I read in one of her interviews that she read about things that make her think. Questions that keep on spinning in her head. Don't worry. Sooner or later, ideas will come easily to you.By the way, is there a way where i can read your stories?

I'm on holiday ( like finally) after my exams. haha and i'm looking for a job to kill time. hahah. Do you have any recommendations for me?

I've gt to go soon. Best of luck to you!

P.S (don't double post again okay? hehehe)

Cheers,
j.l

Joyce C said...

Hi jl!

Great to hear from you again. Thanks for constantly lifting my spirits. Writing's really tricky sometimes and writers are probably the most neurotic, low self-esteemed bunch. But I guess life's what we make of it and yada yada. I'll just have to, like you suggested, keep an eye and ear (actually, why just one? why not BOTH eyes and ears? makes you wonder, really) out for possible story ideas.

I'm so glad you asked to read my works, by the way. I'll post my works up on my writing page: http://write-raven.livejournal.com. Do let me know what you think! I'll accept the good and the bad :)

As for jobs, I'm don't really have a clue, frankly. I got my Isetan job because of my dad. I'm giving English tuition on Saturdays now (beginning this Sat), so I'll let you know if it's worth the time and effort.

Cheers,
Joyce

PS. I'll try not to repost :)

Joyce C said...

I did it! I only posted once! -cackles-

Natasha Fondren said...

I have to force it back, letter by letter. Annoying, though! I love it when the muse pops by, though!

Joyce said...

Hi Natasha!

Thanks for popping by. I guess we all need that annoying thing called discipline in our lives.

All the best with your writing!

Cheers,
Joyce