…when one feels bad, and also suffers from the need to talk about oneself in the third person?
Well, as Neil himself says, make good art. Then, even after the darkness has passed, you’ll have a bunch of good art lying around. Who knows what you could do with that? People make fortunes and fantasies from much less.
I’m hard at work at… oh, three different stories right now. I find myself slipping between them at random, even though there is only one that really demands all my attention and has a set deadline. The others are for fun, or for pleasure, or for the love of the story. Sometimes all three at once. And I waver, occasionally, when I become disconnected from the characters, the plot. I find myself returning to old stories, old narratives, the sort I dreamed before I was a writer and knew how a story should be constructed.
That’s what one does, when one is a writer. One falls into speaking in the third person, and some stories fade. Others become more vivid. It’s useful, then, to have more than one story in progress at once, so that the creative drive is not wasted too much, and one can make good art all the time.
I feel bad for not writing them down. I daydream all the time, and there are some old stories locked in my head that will never see the light of day. They are familiar toys, memories of my development as a writer, but they are too rough and self-indulgent to say out loud. They are the unacknowledged bedrock of my skill; precious, to me, but ugly and banal to anyone else.
They are not good art. They will never be told.
So I wonder, when I’m not talking in the third person, how much of my time is wasted – and is it truly wasted? – on these remnants of my growth. I wonder if I should bury them for good. I wonder if other writers have a cache of hidden tales that they will never speak out loud.
So much wondering, when I should be reconnecting with my proper work and making good art. Back to Scrivener I go, then, and less of… whatever the hell this is. My strange meanderings on the demented psychology of those of us who tell tall tales for a living.
I hope you’re all making good art too, my friends, no matter how you feel right now.