I hadn’t planned on writing any fiction. I started my blog as a way to explain the symbolism behind my poetry. Then I couldn’t figure out how to upload pictures to it, so I started writing my observations and opinions instead. Then I started writing poetry because well, my Kindle almost does it for me. But I certainly didn’t plan on writing fiction.
There was that time when I was at the eye doctor’s office and I decided to write about who might have lived in the building that wasn’t there anymore. But that was a fluke. I didn’t mean to do that. I was bored at the office, waiting to be called back. It was entertaining me to invent these people and their lives.
But then it happened again.
I painted a painting, but not anything of reality. I put blobs of paint on a canvas and swirled them around until I liked them. I wasn’t planning anything. I just was playing, receiving. I was letting the Spirit guide me.
I was creating, not re-creating. I wasn’t drawing anything specific. In a true way, I was re-creating, in the sense of relaxing. I was letting go of my ideas of what had to be and just letting it be.
Then I looked at it and saw something. Kind of like a Rorschach test but without the creepy business of being in a doctor’s office. It looked like a scene with murky light. I could see a rock. I started to imagine where this was and who would be seeing it. A story was developing.
I decided to set a limit of a thousand words, because a picture is worth that, right? I started to ask more questions. Where is this? How did the viewer get there? Who is it? What is the character’s backstory?
Soon I had a thousand words. It is a very short story. I thought I was through.
Then a few days later I painted a different scene, unintentionally continuing the story. I’d painted other things in the meantime and they hadn’t triggered more of the story. This did. I wanted to know more so I wrote more.
Now I am interested in this character and I want to know what is going to happen next. I have no idea where this is going. I’m not sure how long it will last.
I’m trying to decide if I should stick with the idea of painting a picture first and then writing a thousand words about it. Or, just write, and don’t set a limit, and don’t worry about the illustration.
Most books are written first and illustrated later. This started off backwards, but it still started. I’m amused by it, but this is normal for me. Things never seem to happen the usual way for me.
I want to write more nonfiction too, but I have limited time. I’m wondering if this is a distraction, too. Is writing a work of fiction a way to avoid doing the hard stuff of thinking about heavy topics?
Or, is it just a different way to write about it? I’ve noticed that even when I create predictive text poems, the same ideas that I wrote about in my longer, thought out pieces seem to come through. And they seem to get more “likes.”
In a way this bums me out. I’d like to think that the stuff I pour my heart and soul into would get more attention. But then, this is a fast paced world. People don’t make time to even chew their food. Why would they read something that is three pages long when they can get the same idea from a short poem?
The thought is what matters. The package doesn’t. And no matter how I package it, the thought shines through, even if I wasn’t planning it.
So I’ve decided to write anyway, whatever format it is. Paint anyway, or not. Just let it be. I just need to make time to do it, whatever it is.