Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I over-think things.

I like to believe it’s a part of my creative nature—the ability to analyze and fabricate possibilities from nothing, but the truth is this particular ability is a double-edged sword.

Sure, I can create multiple scenarios to any given situation—some likely, some not—as well as perfectly sound justifications for rather unsound possibilities, thereby giving them a credibility they would otherwise lack.

It’s a skill.

And no, I’m not talking about lying—something I’m actually rather terrible at—possibly because my knee-jerk reaction is to call people on their bullshit and the best way to do that is with the truth; and possibly because I’m inherently a lazy individual, and lying means you need to put work into remembering your fabricated details, whereas with the truth you only have to remember the, well, the truth.

(In processing this ramble I’ve suddenly recalled I have a shitty memory, and realize that yes, this doesn’t exactly bode well for the last statement, but then again I’m not lying about events, as clearly my own actions will be remembered by someone who can vouch. And besides: despite occasional appearances to the contrary, I’m actually rather boring—there’s nothing to remember or lie about. Heh.)


Point being... my imagination is rather, er, active, even at rest. In other words: I have the uncanny ability to create stress where there is none. (Go figure.)

I call this an overactive imagination; and coupled with my double superpowers of rationalization and justification it can do a lot of damage. (Seriously: you want to buy that 1970s Hulk cookie jar on eBay? I can give you seventeen reasons why you absolutely need to have it or ZOMFG you will effing die in a fire by midnight so click click click that BUY IT NOW button! DOOO EEEET! Trust).

It was brought to my attention the other day that this particular oddity—the ability for my own creativity to analyze, and over-analyze, and dissect a situation with the meticulous inspection of a forensic coroner—might simply be considered over-thinking, and perhaps detrimental to my own mental well-being... you know, when I've managed to become stressed and frantic with those same imagined horrors.

Why would I do this to myself?

Um, well, there are times when it’s put to good use—brainstorming and plotting story lines and narrative tension.

Then there’re the other times, when clearly my brain has nothing constructive to deal with, and begins fabricating possibilities that have less chance of actually happening than our winning the lottery—except that doesn’t lessen the panic riddling my veins as I stare at the ceiling at 3am.

(My kid has anxiety... what can I say? He comes by it honestly.)

Anyhow. My friend went on to question: why aren’t I currently harnessing this energy? Why am I staring at the ceiling at ungodly hours of the night worrying about the safety of Mr Lannis in a bush in Northern Ontario (it’s not like the deer have firearms, though arguably that would make it more fair), when I could be skimming through possible plot lines and conflicts for as-yet-uncreated characters?

Not that the insatiable energy of inspiration humming through my veins would mean I’d sleep any more...

More than that, this friend reminded me I need to write, said it’s talent wasted. (I’m flattered, truly, but my terminal realist shouts that that has yet to be proven. So pffft to that.)

But the sentiment is true: I need to redirect my thoughts and get back into writing, for multiple reasons.

And creative writing. (Read: not blogging.)

Or at least, less blogging, or blogging as a break.

And then I remember the why... 

Why I can't jump yet. Why I'm hovering on the edge of hacking three manuscripts to bits.

You can’t push it.

I need to be ready. When it’s there, it’s there.

It’ll come. It’ll return, and I’ll hum. I’ll be glued to the keyboard again, a frenzy of sleepless focus that will somehow expel 50k - 85k words in four to eight weeks.

It’s happened three times before, and it will happen again. This I know.

I need patience.

In the meantime I need to breathe, and stop over-thinking.

Because for fiction, it’s great; but for reality, it’s goddamn stressful...

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