I can only describe my current state of affairs in one of two ways: either I’m following my heart, writing what I’m inspired by and devoting myself only to the projects that I feel I’m supposed to be working on at any given moment, or I’m flighty.
I’ve been listening to the Anne series on Librivox (I highly recommend it, Karen Savage is the best reader, she does all the different voices perfectly, from loving know-it-all Rachel Lynd to the incorrigible and childlike Davy Keith to starry-eyed Anne) and even though it’s been pouring down rain, I have full-on Spring Fever.
In winter I think about concepts. I’m sifting through ideas and sorting them all out, trying to create complicated story lines. Winter is my time for writing adventure and political intrigue. But as soon as spring hits, all I’m thinking about is violets and bluejays and picking blueberries and climbing trees. Complicated story lines have no place in my life when the sun is shining, and though the sun isn’t literally shining right now, it feels like it is.
I started a new story last spring that was unlike anything I had ever written in that it was completely character-driven. I wanted to focus on the characters and the setting more than on the twists and turns I had concentrated on before. This story still had twists, but the twists weren’t the thing, the people were. It was my Jo March moment, like when she quit writing vampire stories and finally took Mr. Baehr’s advice to write what she knew. I don’t know a whole lot, but I know about people, and I know what it feels like to watch a sunset or hear the first frog of the Spring. And as I wrote, I fell in love with the world I found myself in.
Then, horror of horrors, autumn came before I had finished, and as the rainy season set in, I lost steam. I found myself attracted to the complicated stories, not really wanting to continue my spring inspiration in the cold of October. The story was shelved, and I devoted myself to a new story, full of twists and surprises and deception. I worked tirelessly on it (okay, maybe I was tired a few times), but lately I’ve found my mind wandering back to last spring, missing my characters and wishing I could return to them again.
And whether it’s for good or ill, I’ve listened to my heart and returned to my old love, hoping this year I will finish before autumn sets in. (I can’t see why I wouldn’t, but you can never bet on the future.)
Either way, I’m wondering if this makes me an artist….. Or if I just have commitment issues.