Last week, I haven't work much on my project (reasons: tiredness, baby needs, etc.)
I have a small and easy drawings project I started, but for some reasons, I realized I was bored with it. When I asked myself "what else I could draw, (anything, like... if I would do a 5 minutes drawing), what subject would I pick?" and I couldn't find an answer. My mind was... blank!
It bugged me, since, in the past, I couldn't live without drawing! Now, I miss it! But I can't get myself in the mood of drawing again and enjoy it. I took the time to think as to why that is. The only reason I could found is, back then, my life was hard. I didn't have a soft childhood or teenagehood; my heart was broken, I was in pain! And drawing was one of my ways to keep my head off the water (the other way is writing).
Back then, I was holding to the thought that someday, things would be better. I worked so hard to change my fate; at some point, I was afraid that if I would heal my life, I might have nothing to say through art...
I did heal my life and soul; things are so much better then they used to! =) I'm one of the rare person saying that I would NOT like to go back in time, go back to when I was younger... No, please no!! I'm feeling so much better now! I was waiting to be better myself before having a baby and I started my family when I felt ready. I'm so very happy now (if I don't count my job, which is pretty boring)! And my daughter just adds more joy in my life! In contrary of most people who reached 30, I don't feel old; in fact, I feel younger than when I was 16 or 21... Something I feel like I started my life old and I going through life, to younger and freedom ^_^
So, one of my fear did happen. The ink for my drawings was my blood and tears. Now that my soul stop crying and bleeding, I don't have anything to express, so I can't draw anymore, because I have nothing "interesting" to say anymore... Well, not in a visual art way.
Once I got that, I first looked at my loss and thought it was a shame... But then again on second thought, if I have to choose between "drawing (and access to a graphic and exciting job) and pain and heaviness in the heart, and dark clouds in the head, nightmares at night, nightmares day by day, acid in my throat, hate, sadness and depression in my eyes" OR "a balm on my heart, harmony and serenity inside, joy in the corners of my eyes, laughs that tickles the tips of my fingers, and love and happiness that overflows my being, but no drawing (and boring job)"... I definitely prefer happiness!
So, once I've mourn drawings, I remembered that I still can write! In the end, if I only have to write, it may be easier to focus my time and energy on one art and one project. At the very beginning, writting was the most important, then drawing came across for an big episode, and now, I'm back again on the first track, the one that always matter the most to me: storytelling!
So, last week, once I finished philosophizing about my little life -- mourned my past drawings, and made peace with the fact that it was the center of my life once, but it's probably gone now since I don't need it anymore -- I focused on my novel project.
At the end of last week, I started to put some ideas on paper during my lunch time. Because I restart the project from scratch, and go back to "the origin" of the story, all is new, so all has to be designed. I'm at the point where I have a rough idea of the main-lines of the story, on three episodes (they might end up being in six books, I don't know yet). That is for Part I, because there might be few others episode on Part II... and maybe Part III. I know, it's really... really long and big project. There is still so many questions to be answered to fully develop the storyline.
Some weeks/months ago, I started on "Calc" (from the free OpenOffice, it's the equivalent of Excel for Microsoft) and spreadsheet with main actions and started to draw some chapters for the three "episodes". But with the latest questions, I started to find some answers to, I felt blocked... like, I need a tool to help me put all my ideas together.
I described what I want to my boyfriend, innocently hoping he would say it's easy to program and maybe do something ourselves... (like if we had time for this!?). Instead, he said that what I was looking for, is called a mind map and that we can find it for free on the web. After looking quickly for a mind mapping software, we installed one, didn't like it, flushed it away and tried another one, liked it, and working with it now.
I chose VUE. It's slightly buggy, which can easily get pretty annoying, but grosso modo, it's a great tool! I started (on top) family trees and (the second one) threads of stories:
Each colors represent a different "narrative line", meaning the story from different characters point of view (and, obviously, those narrative-lines come accross). So I've started to write all the ideas that comes to my mind by blocks. I'll then be able to sort them by character point of view and chronological order. Once all the pieces of the puzzle will be there, once every essential questions to built the story will be answered, I'd be able to pick the important blocks to put in the book and leave the rest as "lost pages". Maybe some day, I'll complete the "anecdote lost-pages" and do something... like a "side book" or... I don't know, put them on a personal website for books promotions, or maybe they'll remain "lost pages" for ever, who knows?
Elisabeth Vonarburg, in her writing workshop, repeated that no matter what will end up in the book and what will be left aside, all the questions AND the answers has to be known to the writer, in order to really, deeply, understand her/his story and avoid the silly and ashamed situation where the only answer to a question is "oh... I haven't thought about that... You're right, it makes no sense!". She said (by memory, in my words and my understanding) "you don't have to put everything in the book and answer all the questions; of course not, please don't! Let the readers do some thinking! But You, as the writer, HAVE TO know. You HAVE to have your answers, even if you choose never to talk about it".
So, this week, with this new tool -- and with the release of trying to draw, the release of guilt, because I can't draw -- I start answering major questions and the story started to unfold before me again =D. I started the week with a structure of a story (made some time ago), some bones, and now, it start to have a lot of meat on it! =P
My biggest fear about this project remains the same: I'm still a novice in writing and this project may be too big to start with. Elisabeth always says about my text that the subject is too complicated for my level... but I can't help it! Every time I tried to work on another smaller projects and more adapted to a beginner, I end up adding a new character to this big project!
So I stopped fighting against it, stop trying to do things I don't feel like doing, and just work in this too big fella! I'll see where it will bring me... =)