It feels so good when I have people come up to me and ask, "so when is your book coming out?" I have to admit, sometimes when I heard that question posed, it agitated me a little bit and not because of reasons you might think, but due to the fact I had no real definitive answer to give. If there is one thing I've learned about my talent it's that it will do what it wants to do when it wants to do it. I can't force my creative flow, and that was one of the hardest wake-up calls I'd ever been slapped with.
Here I was trying to force myself to write something I truly wasn't feeling. And when I say forced, that's exactly what it was. My talent took a step back and looked at me like, "hmmph, who do you think you are? We got this, and it's not time!" Yep, that's pretty much what my talent spoke to me. Actually, my feelings were so hurt. I've been in what I would call the worst writer's block slump ever! I haven't attempted to finish my third novel in three years. I kept telling myself that I must complete it, but no matter how hard I tried, my talent just abandoned me. I became so distraught, I wrote a strong poem entitled, No Words. For someone who couldn't find the words to finish a novel, they damn sure found their way onto my poem's journal. It left me feeling so sad, yet extremely fulfilled. We artist are so temperamental.
The thought of not writing my own material had me depressed for a while. I kept thinking perhaps God decided to strip my talent from me and just left me as an empty shell, but I learned it had nothing to do with that. I finally discovered that I'm one of those artist who cannot create unless there is something real viable for me to say. I can't write just for the sake of writing. Sure, I write my weekly blog, and I still write poetry, but it's not the same regiment as working on a novel. As I've told many aspiring writers, it's hard. I don't care what anyone tells you, I'm here to tell you writing is one of the hardest occupations to have.
And here's another reality I had to finally face that I didn't want to admit to myself. I write my best work from my worst experiences. I'm not one of those artists who create well when I'm happy. Is that the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard? Yeah, it is for me too, so I feel what you're probably thinking. Let me explain. Some of the craziest characters I've dreamed about come to me when I'm going through some things. When I experience pain emotionally, my creative juices flow like a damn river. I will never ever understand that. Some of the best poetry I've written and won awards for came from a dark place within me. And people seem to really feel me when I write that strongly. So I've learned a great deal about me and my creativity.
Do I like what I've learned? Hell no, but I've learned to listen to whatever it is that makes me who I am and I've stopped trying to tell my talent what it needs to do. It's not that I like going through drama--in fact I absolutely hate it and I'd love to do away with it, but I give my all-time best when I've had issues. That just blows my mind. So, anyways, this is the reason for my post. I'm writing a new novel. The one I initially planned to launch, I'm not ready to deal with that subject just yet, and I do have control over what I plan to release and what I will not.
Now, when people ask, "are you still writing?" I can say with certainty, "yes I am." The story I'm working on is rather tricky for it deals with something I have lots of knowledge about, and I have to be careful in the way I present it, for it could upset lots of people--which is the exact reason why I plan to write this particular story. It's something that has been on my mind for years, and a very strong-willed character came to me in my sleep and when I woke up, I had to immediately begin drafting the outline of characters. These characters were coming at me so quickly, I couldn't type fast enough to get everything down. In fact, the first chapter flew through my mind so quick, I had to go back and re-read because I was shocked I laid those words down with such ease. This new character is stronger than June was. She's spunkier and has a great deal of anger. I had to laugh when I read her words for she didn't hide anything she felt. There were times I had to ask myself is this the character speaking or is it me? I'd have to say a little bit of both.
I'm not sure where this story is taking me yet, but it literally is writing itself and I love when I don't have to put much effort into it. You see, this is my talent taking over. It taps into my deepest dark places and finds what I've been holding onto and now it spins those negative feelings into a story. I keep asking myself what is the title of this new novel, and my talent told me not to deal with that. Just work on the story and it will decide when it's time to let me know. Well alrighty then! I suppose I have no choice.
I decided to use this weekend's blog post to advise my readers and fans that I'm hard at work on a new untitled novel, but it's one that will leave you thinking--'cause that's what we do!
Next weekend AAMBC is stopping by, so don't miss it!!
Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer
When in Doubt, DON'T Post it Out!