Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Write Right Away Before You Lose It All
Why does inspiration always come at the worst time? Usually when I'm laying in bed after a long day. To get my mind to relax so I can finally fall asleep, I make up stories. It's what I've always done. Now, I use the time to think about the story I'm working on, sorting out problems, or wondering where I'm going to go next. Of course sometimes I'll get something amazing going in my head but I'm too tired to get up and go back to the computer and write it down. So I leave it until the next day. By then, even though I might remember the gist, I don't have the same feeling I had at the time the inspiration hit.
That happened to me over the weekend. I think it was Saturday night when I had this whole scene in my head- a very important and emotionally tough scene between my two main characters. Sunday turned out to be too busy to write, so by the time I got around to writing on Monday afternoon, I had completely lost the scene.
I struggled over getting it out. It took me a long time to write it. And I worry that it's garbage, nothing compared to how it was when I first thought it. The funny thing is, what I first thought up might not even be that great. But at the time, it flowed. It was easy and natural. It just happened through my head like a movie, as if I wasn't creating the scene at all but just watching it. So when I have to struggle and hem and haw about what's happening and what I'm writing, I tend to think it's worse because it's not coming as naturally as it did the first time.
The lesson here: get your butt out of bed and write what you're thinking at the time. Sure, you may end up going to bed later than you want to. But in my case, I'll be much happier with my work, even if it turns out to be garbage and I'll have to fix it all later anyway. At least I'll have confidence in the scene and in my writing instead of crippling doubt and worry that it will never be as good as it could have been.