Inspiration Or Distraction?
Updated: Mar 15, 2020
When I was ten years old, I had a class assignment: Write a short story. There were only two requirements: It had to be fiction and it had to be told from the perspective of an inanimate object.
I chose to write a story about a boy who sees a baseball glove in a store while shopping with his father. The glove is too big for him, but he loves it. His father buys it. The boy grows up, eventually growing into the glove. He has a marvelous career in major league baseball, all while refusing to part with the tattered glove he pestered his father to buy for him. His remarkable journey is told through the eyes of that tattered baseball glove.
The story was only a couple pages long, and obviously quite simplistic, as the author was all of ten years old. But I never forgot the story.
I thought it would be fun to rewrite it. I'm a much better writer now than I was when I was ten. At least I hope I am. The question is, when do I write it? Right now, I feel as though I'm nearing the finish line on my second novel (although it's shaping up to be more of a novella). But my progress on that project came to a screeching halt a few months back.
The delay was somewhat self-imposed. I didn't feel the inspiration. I was (and still am) at a point with the book that in order to move forward, I need to really feel it. I was cruising right along, and then I looked down and realized that I was almost finished. But there are a couple chapters that need to be finished. One of them being the final chapter. The epilogue needs to be wrapped up as well.
I suddenly found myself wanting to step away from it. To let the story come to me, as it were. But a mental hiatus can be a risky proposition for a master procrastinator such as myself. Could I afford to let my brain get distracted? After all, I already have another novel rolling around in my head. If I were to allow myself to leave that world, who knows difficult it would be to get back there.
I started writing the autobiography of a baseball glove. And I've been feeling inspired.
I always thought working on two projects at once was a bad idea. I thought I would run the risk of losing the voice of the original story, and possibly both. But these stories could not be more different. So it might serve as a positive distraction. I can let the other story continue to simmer while I work on this new one. All good stews are better after they simmer for a while.
Who says I can't write two stories at once? I do think it helps that they are as different as they are. I might not attempt it if they were similar in any way. I do hope to finish my novel/novella soon. Maybe my children's story is the perfect palate cleanser, something to open up my mind.
I'll let ya know how it goes.