I've been disciplining myself to finish my new novel... hence the reason why I haven't written on here for the past four months or so.
I don't know about other writers, but I'm inundated with unfinished ideas. Or, to be more precise, the ideas are complete as they are, but they're not fully expressed into what we call a fully fledged story.
In 2013 I booked myself into a small cottage in North Yorkshire, UK, with the simple mission to write, write and write.
It's not a simple mission...
I realised that going about the writing process hell for leather isn't the way for me. I burn myself out and the stuff I end up writing just starts to feel spiritless and tired of itself. So other than writing, my time was spent, reading, watching films and going for walks.
It was great... I had a blast.
I managed to develop one of those unfinished ideas I mentioned by adding to it an extra 20,000 words. Then, when I returned home, the ideas dried up and the idea, which now sat at a comfortable 30,000 words, came to an abrupt stop.
An ideas has a life of its own. It will be expressed when it is ready to be expressed. Maybe it's waiting for you to go through an experience so you turn into a worthy medium for its completion.
We do not choose ideas, they choose us. Watch yourself closely and you will see what I mean.
That said, this specific idea was brought back into my awareness when I came to Taiwan. I had forgotten about it, and was going about the groggy affair of looking through all of my unfinished stories (WARNING: TO AVOID PAIN, DON'T DO THIS WHEN YOU'RE FEELING UNINSPIRED).
I read and re-read the whole thing several times and decided to re-write it. It might sound like a daunting task, and if the instruction had come from, say, a publisher, and I didn't agree with them, then re-writing it would've been like a wisdom tooth removal, but the decision came from me, and because of that I really didn't have choice - artistic integrity and all...
If you're a creative person, you will know what it's like. If something doesn't feel right then you go about correcting it. The idea is your baby. It's a part of you. Unconditionally, you just do whatever it takes to bring it into this world, even if it means you're left kicking and screaming, covered in blood and other undesirable body fluids.
Plus, the idea doesn't leave you alone until it's out and about anyway! So you either do it or go insane.
So, to come full circle, that's what I've been doing for the past several months; preventing myself from going insane. That, plus learning Chinese, reading, meditating, visiting Bangkok and Okinawa, eating good food, drinking good coffee, and watching ancient people in the park, practicing Tai Chi and Chi Gong, which is always a pleasure to watch.