Fanning embers


How do you do it?

You’ve got the smoldering embers of an idea, a plan, a project you laid out. You get part of the way into it, just hoping to pick up steam, and then… life. Life happens to you. You lose your steam, your spark, or your ability to continue working on it until Life stops happening long enough for you to get back to it.

When you do get back to it, something’s… missing? flat? absent? You can’t find it. That initial hum, momentum, thrust is gone and you can’t recapture it. It’s not your fault, what could you do? It’s Life, which is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. So you got derailed, and now that you can return to that thing you were hotly pursuing before, you’re staring at it like it’s from Mars. You have no idea where you were going.

Has that happened to you? Have you fallen flat after an interruption? I’ve been interrupted for a long time now. But most recently, I’ve been interrupted for weeks and weeks with my computer’s untimely demise. Oh, it didn’t die before its time – no, in computer terms it was as ancient as the pyramids. By “untimely” I mean, oh, you lousy POS, how could you do this to me NOW?

I have a new one now, praise the Lord for His greatness, and I’ve recovered some of my stuff (it will be a long time before I recover ALL of it though). And so, I opened up a story I’d been banging away at before my technology went back to the stone age and guess what?

Yep. Can’t catch the spark. Can’t catch the fire.

I see the embers, smoldering there under a lot of ash, and I’m trying to find a way to fan them, but so far nothing. I hope this is just temporary, but boy, it’s a pain in the heart. And other places too.

How about you? How do you rekindle a dying fire? How do you go back to a project you lost your momentum on and start again? Any secrets, or is it really just mashing through it for you?

-JDT-

(I’ll have my signature and links to my books here again soon, I promise.)

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4 thoughts on “Fanning embers

  1. I’m not good at making myself do this, but what usually helps is if I sit down with a project for several days in a row, and if I can’t think of anything to write then I’ll just ponder and take notes. If I do this, I’ll find myself thinking about it more and more, and eventually the spark returns.

    I’ve done the sitting and staring thing. Maybe I’ll try reading the story structure plan I had and see if that does it. Thanks!

  2. I have one such project. And I’m so sad about it, I haven’t been able to look at it again so far. sigh.

    It’s been about seven weeks or so since I’ve been able to look at this one, and I had such high hopes for it. 😦

  3. Once I derail, I’m done. Stick a fork in me. I’m pretty good about completing craft projects, but if something isn’t the right colour or the pattern isn’t working, you may as well throw it in the woodstove.

    I’ve never been good at accepting less than perfection from myself either. When I built furniture, that got expensive.

    I started painting my kitchen more than a year ago. I got one wall finished and started painting the cabinets. I tried one colour I didn’t like then tried another colour I liked less. The rest of my kitchen is still an eyesore because the drive is gone.

    I hear ya.

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