I started to work on a couple of adventures I've been writing when the wind went out of those sails. Could not figure out what happened so my attention turned to looking up some rules to for the system. It didn't take long, maybe a half hour of reading the main rules book and scouring the interwebs for other people's opinions before it was resolved. Music was cycling and everything in my mind was still. No movement. No words. Nothing.
For the first time in the last couple of months there wasn't a single word screaming to be let out.
I just sat there listening to Ben Folds go on about how the suburbs sucked when he was growing up trying to figure out how this happened. All that came back was the sound of the rain gurgling though the gutters. Closing my eyes and leaning back into my computer chair that sound echoed through my entire body. It too was apparently empty. Turning off the music and pausing to take care of all of the lights in the back bedrooms, I grabbed my book and headed into our living room.
Elizabeth was down stairs clearing off some of the shows she enjoys from the dvr, so I was alone in a very still room. Only the cats were stirring, greeting me as I came in, the dogs were down watching the television as well.
I sat on the love-seat and tried to read but nothing happened. The words came in and went out just as quickly. Then I realized what was going on.
It was about this same time last year when I went dry. Completely and totally dry. Last year, November came with Nano, and I completed it. And I wasn't able to stop. I jumped in on another story, one inspired by our watching of the movie Brick (which weirdly enough was the song I had just been listening to earlier) which went for some fifty-thousand words before suddenly they just stopped coming. The words just dried up. I had reached a point where that was all of the words I had to write. Gone.
This year was a bit different. I had jump-started myself, greased the gears a bit, and started writing back in October. It was only a short story, sure, but I also sat down and came up with back stories for my characters and a bit of the rules for the setting. In total, I ended up writing about 25k words before moving on to the main event. November went well. I completed a couple of days ahead of schedule. And with a real ending this time. December through now, I have been continuing putting ideas to this virtual canvas in some form or another. And then two weeks ago I got inspired by our gaming group. It is the thing that seems to have grounded me against the shore. To start up a Warhammer Fantasy living campaign. Right now, I am staring at four or five adventure modules in various states of being completed. And I think I may have ran out of words to complete them with.
So I just soaked it in for a half hour. The sounds of rain and of a purring cat which had found its way onto my lap while my eyes were shut. The feel of this empty room with the oppression of rain weighing in on it. The seeping tiredness of a long day at the office. Just sat there soaking all of it and putting it away, somewhere, I have no idea where. Inside somewhere.
After that half hour, that place inside had gotten what it wanted. I opened my eyes and was able to read the book without it completely going through me untouched. This morning I woke up with a couple of ideas on how to punch up one of the mods and a new rule change. It felt good, it felt normal. And I resolved not to do anything with it just yet. I don't want to run dry again. Not now. I know it may sound strange not to want to run with these thoughts but I think I need to hold on to them for a bit. No more than another day or two. Long enough for them to have a couple of ideas of their own. Long enough for them to start multiplying again.
The last few weeks I have been trying to find a steady source of inspiration to work with. Some base for those ideas to multiply on their own. Mostly that has meant listening to all sorts of music I like and the HHGG radio series when driving to and from work or a bit of H.P. Lovecraft when at the office. And reading. I think Steven King got that piece of advice right. A good writer is also a good reader. So maybe I need to pick up the pace on my reading some more. I'm not sure. All I know is that I don't want to run dry again.
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