That’s the Idea

Writing is a fickle mistress. 

I’ve been writing for fun for as long as I can remember. I was the weird kid who once faked sick and stayed home from school for two days because I had a great idea for a story and I absolutely couldn’t wait to write it. 

Here’s the problem though – I can never finish what I start (well, depending on what it is I’ve started). The longest beginning/middle/end story I’ve ever written was about 25 pages. Poetry I can do, when the mood strikes me. It’s a compulsive sort of mood, though. I’ll sit down for days in a row and write the strange, the weird, the nonsensical. It’s easier, at least for me, because poetry doesn’t necessarily have to make “sense”. Just write what you feel, put words together that have no business being together and see what happens.

But, like anyone who considers themselves a “writer”, what I really want to do is write a novel. And oohhhh is that a problem. I can’t count how many stories I’ve started with noble thoughts and ambitions, only to leave them abandoned. I feel sort of bad, really, because I’ve created characters and then just left them hanging in limbo. 

I know that it’s really about getting the right idea. Because when you have the right idea, and you’ve created the right characters, you want nothing more than to keep writing. You don’t get bored.

Boredom has always been my problem. 

And I wonder how that translates into the real world – I’m the sort of person who is in need of constant change. I don’t jive with the idea of permanence. In fact, it terrifies me. So I jump from one thing to another, one style to another, one hair color to another, one interest to another. I’d never be the person to walk into a restaurant and ask for “the usual”.

So I guess the right idea can be likened to the right everything. Once you find the right style, you keep it. Once you find the right job, you keep it. Once you find the right person, etc.

Really I think the right idea is the abstract version of the right person. Someone you never tire of, someone you never stop wanting, someone you can’t get enough of. And, come to it, a relationship that you don’t want to end (even if it’s a little twisted sometimes).   

So. The right idea. The idea that keeps me up until 3am with a glass of whiskey writing, even when I have to be up in 5 hours. 

I need to find it.  


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