Friday, March 2, 2012

The Excitement

Few things get me really excited. I mean knee bouncing, heart thumping, biting lip excited. The excitement you felt as a child on Christmas morning or when you went on vacation somewhere amazing. As adults, it seems as though our exiting moments grow up. Our first car, home, or dog. Getting married and having a baby. We tend to overlook the small things that get us excited.

Five of the small things that get me excited are:

Great music.
Zombie movies.
Road trips.
Amusement parks.

Of course, there are other things that get me all riled up, but they aren't appropriate to post in this space. And the five listed above are ones I've carried with me from childhood straight through my teens and into my adulthood.

Except, there is one thing that ranks higher than everything else.

A new idea for a book.

It always hits when I least expect it. And often doesn't give warning. Most of the time it comes at a inconvenient time, when I'm in the middle of another novel or trying to get a short story finished for someone. Still, the excitement is hard to ignore. I can't shut the idea out. It wants to be heard.

My brain starts to turn it over. At the same time, my heart begins to entertain the possibilities. Where is this going to go, how are we going to get there, who will it involve, how long will it take. It's like the beginning of a new relationship. I don't want to appear too zealous, so I play it cool, but my hands are clammy and I can't eat or sleep. All I can think about is what might come of the small idea planted in my brain.

So, I water it, to see if it will grow.

Regardless of what kind of idea it is, romance, young adult, fantasy, or something completely different, it takes me away from everything else. I can't concentrate on the other projects at hand. It's impossible to edit. My mind starts to ask questions. The characters start to make themselves known. They start talking. And, if the idea is right and the characters are loud enough, scenes start popping into my head.

It's this excitement that tells me I am a writer. That my hobby is the right one. I can't sit still. I don't want to think about anything else. While running, working, bathing, eating, and even sleeping, I dwell on the story, picking it apart and putting it back together again.

The truth is, some of these ideas go away. Sometimes I can't develop them enough. Or I lose interest. At times the characters stop talking. Or I realize the story isn't all that original. It's the way the creative process works for me. Out of my control, really.

If I could write every novel/idea/story down I would. But I'd also be buried under a mountain of manuscripts. Most of them not very good. Some of them down right terrible.  

All I can say is, the moment the idea pops into my head, I am knocked off my feet. The surge of excitement that follows is enough to reassure me that this is what I am supposed to be doing. The what-ifs are endless. And I get a pure shot of hope. Nothing can beat that feeling. Not even a piece of cake.

Oh, what I wanted to tell you. I got a new idea for a book this week and have been floating around ever since. I'm waiting to see if the voices come clearer before I make the decision to give it a go. This is the part I love the best. Waiting to see what the story has to tell me. Trying to figure out if I'm going to take the leap or let it go.

And what about all the ideas I have let go of? Well, I like to think that they are projected back into the world and continue their travels until they find the writer who will do them justice. Or maybe I just have an overactive imagination.

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