The Schizophrenic Writer

I’m starting to wonder if there are several very different writers living in my brain.

Seriously, I know it’s important to brand myself and concentrate on one area, but I have sooo many different interests — as my widely varied backlist implies. Hello, I have a Civil War story coming soon! Sitting there beside my zombie romance horror, dragons, dark fantasy, Maya thriller, and sexy contemporaries.  *gulp*

It’s just like in college.  I had at least 30+ credit hours above and beyond my degree requirements, and ended up with both a BS and AS in undergraduate school, and an unofficial minor in English.  My senior year, I signed up to take Russian.  *boggles*  Ever since The Hunt for Red October, I wanted to learn Russian.  Heh, what can I say–I love Sean Connery!

Reality prevailed and I did drop that class, but I always mourned it.  I knew I couldn’t handle it and the senior-level Romantic Period class I took, even though I was not an English major, on top of my math, chemistry, and physics classes.  I was totally insane and obsessed with my GPA, too, but that’s another blog post.

I’m an emotional writer and always have been.  I can’t write cold and analytically, even though I have an analytical brain.  I’ve learned over the years how to use my analytical side to help plot and set up the groundwork structure for a story, but when actual words begin to flow, it’s all heart.  The problem is that analytical side of my brain looooves research.  It loves to learn new things, and all too easily, I find myself sniffing down a sparkling shiny trail that I never expected.

So there I was, knee deep in contemporary romance with Conn chasing Rae through the trees and Victor not-so-patiently tapping me on the shoulder with his riding crop, when I stumbled across a very innocent article posted on a cross-stitch forum about a tapestry woven from spider silk.  Cool, right, but there’s not a story in that.  Is there?  But a few weeks ago I was thinking about antique samplers and how they can tell us so much about life back in the 1700 and 1800s.  How the selection of silk, fabric, and motif told a very deliberate message.  How specialists today will study “mystery” samplers, trying to decide what certain crooked or reversed letters or symbols might mean.  Was it a mistake–or deliberate?

Oh, and did you know that only one other spider-silk tapestry was ever known to exist, and it was “lost” after a brief showing in Paris in 1900?

These tidbits collided and set off a very strange detonation in my brain.  I believe I have the beginnings of another thriller.

Just what I need right now.  Le sigh.

So I did what any semi-self-disciplined writer would do: I jotted those ideas as feverishly as possible, allowed myself a few hours last night for research, and now today, I must return to my planned work.  Or else Victor might crack me across the shoulders with that crop.  Now *that* would surely help me focus.

October and November are Victor’s.  I’ve already promised him my full concentration.  If he’d only cooperate just a little and help me decide what sort of clothing he prefers to wear!  All I have right now is a very ostentatious, expensive pair of boots for him.  I suppose he could sit behind his desk stark nekkid in boots and holding that wicked crop…

Now that’s inspiration.

4 thoughts on “The Schizophrenic Writer

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Joely Sue Burkhart » The Schizophrenic Writer -- Topsy.com

  2. Hmmm…what a visual!

    When a character is being difficult about something I try to write around it marking the spot with a comment to myself to replace/research later. In my last story the heroine refused to tell me her name. Even the other characters were mum about it. Got to a point where I started trying out names on her but everyone resisted and finally I ‘saw’ the epilogue and low and behold…her name, LOL Good luck with Victor!

    That new story sounds intriguing…amazing the things you stubble upon!

  3. That’s actually kind of funny when I consider Russian is the language I’m trying to learn myself.

    Frankly, I wish more authors were willing to try different genres. I know I have so many ideas these days in so many different directions that I’m probably going to be in the same boat as you if/when I manage to finish something and get published.

    Hang in there, and good luck with Victor’s story, I’m eagerly awaiting it! :mrgreen:

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