Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Itch I Can't Scratch

Ever have an itch you can't scratch?

I have one tonight.

Today is the opening day of the NFL football season, a day that typically finds me glued to a couch watching every possible game that's on cable. Yet today, I can't seem to make it through one.

The Pittsburgh-Baltimore game was less than exciting. It wasn't the hard hitting affair we all hoped for and turned out to be a blowout. The Jets and Cowboys are in a pretty good one right now, but it's not holding my interest at all.

I feel like I'm supposed to be creating something and I don't have the foggiest idea what I'm supposed to be doing. I'd pick up my pen (the nice new one I bought to go with my shiny and still blank new notebook) but I have no clue what to write. I'd work on The Sixth Sword but lately that hasn't been satisfying enough for me to really sink my teeth into. I picked a few chords on my electric guitar and that failed to hit the right note, just like The Hound of Rowan isn't keeping me glued to my Kindle.

So what, pray tell, am I supposed to be writing/playing/doing?

Tony, one my friends who often doubles as my editor and creative adviser, sent me a link to this site a while back. I like the message. "Talent is nothing without focus and endurance." Endurance isn't my problem tonight.

Focus is.

I'm having a bit of the same problem at work lately. I have a backlog of stories to be written that will be cleared out this week, come hell or high water. I've put them off long enough, some of them even too long. I have to chase down a couple of pieces of information this week or the one story I plan on writing is going to be pointless.

This happens to me on occasion. Nights like this one don't come very often, but they do happen, especially coming off of a fresh publication. Completing a major project like Blood & Steel leaves me with a complex jumble of feelings that is difficult to untangle. The major question that keeps the knot tied for the longest is what the hell am I going to write next? It's like staring into a deep, dark hole and hoping that somewhere down there is a man with a flashlight who's going to show me where my next idea is.

When I finished The Crownless King I spent weeks wondering if I'd ever be able to write something worth reading again. The same thing is happening since finishing Blood & Steel. I don't have the slightest idea what's going to happen next, especially since I don't intend to return to that world for a very long time, if ever.

I did have one stroke of good luck this week, however. Bethany found my favorite lens in an old camera bag that hasn't been used for so long that I barely even remember owning it. The lens was my 50mm, f/1.8 and I have looked everywhere for it over the past couple of years. I don't know how it ended up in that bag, but I'm thrilled to have it back. It's one of the most versatile lenses I've owned and I've more than made the $75 I paid for it back in the day.

A little camera tidbit for you: 50mm is the closest focal length to what your eye sees. There is very little difference in a 50mm lens and the human eye. That's what makes it such a great lens.

I have half a notion to go out tomorrow morning and find something to make a panorama out of.

See, right there, that's the problem. I started out blogging about what I'm going to write next and ended up writing about whether or not I'm going to take my first non-business related photo in years.


I could sure use some tonight.

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