Since the last time I posted anything from my Helen of Troy novel, we have met Hector, Prince of Troy, and had a few more ominous clues regarding Helen and her relationships with her family members. However, the entire work so far is still less than 15 pages, and the amount of time I’ve spent working on it lately is next to nothing.
It isn’t writer’s block that I have. It’s the uncertainty of other things in my life that prevents me from writing. I get what I like to call Deadbeat Artist’s Guilt. While I’m jobless, running out of money with no income to make up for what I have to spend, I tend to feel bad about spending my efforts working on writing, instead of job searching. Writing is more important to me, and I am much happier when I write regularly, but I need to make money. I and everyone else know this. Therefore, instead of focusing on my creative work, I attempt to put my energy toward getting a job, and therefore, money. So far this has not resulted in employment, but still – my practical side can’t justify the time I would spend on writing until I have the ability to afford the cost of living.
Of course, I feel bad about NOT writing, also. Sometimes I feel that I owe Helen an apology. (I don’t ever act on that, because I think it’s important to keep in mind that your characters are FICTIONAL. Even if your writing is based on real people you know personally, the version of them that appears on the page is not the real person – rather, that version is a fictional person inspired by the real life version.) I’ve been neglecting her – and she wants to grow up, yet at the moment she’s stuck at age 7 or 8.
I think that another reason for my lack of writing is that the story is not concretely formed in my head yet. The beginning I felt strongly, and certain points of the story are very clear in my mind, but I can’t see her entire journey. I feel as if I can’t portray her world properly until I do the research on the myths and the history, but I also don’t want to focus too much on “accuracy.” I plan to do research at some point, but it didn’t feel necessary to me to complete that part before doing the first draft write. I’m going to stick to that, just to prove that I was right…
And, if luck leans in my favor, this unproductive streak will not last much longer.