Restless in the new place, anxious to start writing again, but we haven’t fully settled in to new routines yet. I’ve lost my protected writing time now my helper’s school is back in session, and I feel kind of lost in every space I try to claim as my writing spot.
I’ve had an idea for a while though, and a few things I’m focusing on came together in a way that makes it the perfect project for now. It won’t get me churning out material right away, but will allow me to slowly savor the process for a change, a chance to see what happens when I slow down and rely more on the art side of my creative journaling.
I would like to see what happens if I illustrate a story creation process, using art alongside words to help me maintain focus while I mull over concepts.
I think of it as illumination, a modern form of the scribe’s artwork back when the bible was the only printed story in town. I feel that creative journaling is more about capturing your own essence and experience, but this is journaling the birth of a story. Sometimes very productive, sometimes just a lot of fun.
Only this time what I want to illuminate is the process of illumination, images that express one method of developing a story this way, images that can serve as references so I can tape a pretty list of my favorite writing exercises to the wall. I will put more effort than usual into them, slowing myself down to a crawl.
Lately, my inner muse has been stuttering. If I slow down and focus on the minute details of the process, will the next few stories come out with more confidence even in a distracting environment, the way slow deliberate movements in Tai-Chi are supposed to help you move instinctively?
Will I get more ideas? Better ideas? Or will it be a waste of time, an excuse to focus on something that ultimately will distract me, an artful form of procrastination similar to seeking out your protagonist’s favorite color or high school mascot?
Then an image came to me that promises it definitely won’t be a waste of time, because what I see will completely capture my current mood and excitement, making the project a nice reminder of this point in my life.
Since I’m not actually a tourist, I haven’t gotten to start my spooky tourism yet, but I’m psyching myself up by browsing the complete works of Poe. One of those things happened where one thought hit the other, and now there is this:
The first step is to find the words. Guess where the words are from, go on, guess.
I plucked an assortment of pretty words, loosely sorted them into three groups of seeming emotion or meaning, and my favorite word from each group will be the driving concept. Each egg will hatch a story inspired mostly by exploring that word, but how the word develops will be shaped by the archetype of the Raven, especially aspects of him that Poe seemed to admire when studying his forgotten lore.
Bring on October. I’m coming for you, Poe’s banister. And I bring tribute.
Not an earth-shattering project, but one with updates nonetheless. It is turning out to be helpful while I adapt to a new environment and routine, and it is helping prevent a total stall to my creativity.
9.28.18 – Small Raven feathered plot bunnies are stirring within at their eggs. This poem is with me everywhere, in everything I do.
10.12.18 – I feel a little silly when one solution for writing time finally occurs to me.
10.19.18 – Still struggling with my new environment, but I will persist and make a way to make this work. A story for one word is finally developing nicely, I know exactly what I want to do, I just need to find the time to write it.
10.26.18 – Couldn’t resist sharing some world building in story form. I know what I want to express about all the stories, this week will be about getting rough drafts finished for all of them. They will be developed at the same time, so shared when revision is complete.