Rob Long’s Martini Shot podcast had a great bit a couple of weeks ago about what writers really get up to when they “write.” It felt good to hear another writer admit what we all know to be true: That plopping down at a cafe or bookstore with the laptop and a notebook doesn’t always result in a head down, ass-kicking, rip-roaring session of scribery. Most writers spend a lot less time writing than figuring out creative ways to waste time and still just barely blow a deadline.
Anyway, today I was trying to make some serious headway on two projects I need to get wrapped ASAP, when I was struck by that derailing bitch of the brain: INSPIRATION. For years now, I’ve had this creative itch I’ve wanted to scratch. I haven’t had a story idea or characters or a plot, but I’ve known that I wanted to strike a certain tone with a project someday. I’ve also known exactly who I’d want to publish this non-existant, unplotted book. And I know the editor I’d like to deliver it to.
So today, while watching a favorite movie by a favorite director, it hit me. How to relate the tone I’ve been searching for, and how to do it in service of a story. And then the cast for the story popped into my head, and then the whole goddamn plot occured to me.
I don’t want to relate anything about the tone of the plot or the characters, but I can tell you the book will be called SEAWEED. My plan right now is to write the whole thing and deliver it to said editor completed. You know, after, during and while I’m working on these other books, and after, during and while I work up that genre-defining crime book with Ramon Perez that I mentioned earlier. And the superhero thing with Peck, and this contracted book we just picked up, and…you know.
So, yeah…instead of getting desperately needed work done, I created something else to eat up my days and nights.
Frankly, that’s too often how I write. But it’ll all get done in the end.