Monday, June 20, 2011
The New Project High
by Julia Buckley
My summer headquarters
I had a plan for the summer which included revising two things and corresponding with various agents. (And by corresponding I mean me writing them letters and them writing back and saying "No, thanks.")
No other plans were on the horizon, and these were things that needed to be done. I had a dearth of creative ideas, as I do every year at the end of a stressful school year. My mind is just played out.
I have heard, though, that if you want a new idea, you need to rest and de-stress, and the idea will come. There must be something to this concept, because every book idea that has ever popped into my head has done so when I am relaxed.
So this week, the one week I have off before I return to teaching, something came to me. A kernel of an idea--just something that seemed interesting.
So I went to the computer and started tapping out ideas. They turned into a chapter one, and then a chapter two. I had to get up and do some household tasks--motherly things like making grilled cheese and driving people places. But then I drifted back to the computer--not out of obligation, as I do the revisions, but out of a kind of passion. Pursuing a new project is like a brand new love affair. I am fascinated by this new thing. I want to know more about it. While people are talking to me, I am partly thinking about my new project.
That is what I call the new idea high, and for me, it's the best part of writing because it's the most exciting and satsifying. Every idea that I manage to translate from my mind onto paper is a pleasure and a satisfaction; I can move on to the next idea and the next, knowing that those first ones have been safely nailed down.
I suppose people can get the same sort of energy from a new household project--building an addition or re-decorating a room. At the beginning you have nothing, and then, suddenly, it starts to take shape, and you can imagine what it will be at the end. But it's the building, sometimes, that is the most fun.
What are some other creative projects that have given you this feeling?
And writers, have you ever had ideas come to you at a time of total rest and relaxation?