I was out last night. It was another in a long line of visits where I go out, have pizza, chat, and watch shows that either invite snarky commentary about plot holes (Prisoner of Azkaban, why walk back to Hogwatts when someone could have apparated Peter back? Why not have someone go back and get Dumbledore? Why not just take Peter to Hogsmeade, which was right next door? Why did Lupin conveniently forget there was a full moon that night? Why was the story plot hammered like it was being run by a bad GM?) or something more interesting (like two episodes of Season Two of Sherlock).
Then came the drive back after midnight. For some reason there was almost no traffic, and my drive home was one of just letting the cruise control do its thing just point the car down the road. There wasn’t a need to touch the brakes, so I drove and thought . . .
I had a waxing gibbous moon on my left shoulder for most of the drive, and it struck me that this would be my last moonlit drive for 2012. And it was strange because on so many moonlit drives, I’ve been with characters who have made my stories shine, with ideas that drive me on to produce good stories, and plots that I hope work out once I put them to paper.
I had none of that last night. It was just me, and a few of my thoughts. Not that there was anything wrong with that, but as perfect as the night seemed, I really wanted to have someone alongside, sharing the experience.
This is has been a long year, with plenty of ups and downs, things to be remembered and forgotten. There has been exhilaration and doubt. Particularly the doubt, which has seemed to increase in the last few weeks. Don’t ask why, because I don’t know myself. It’s the way my mind works, and it’s not ways a good thing, that.
The thing about being a writer is there is always doubt. Is this story good? Are the characters believable? Does any of this make sense? Is the cover nice? Is this damn thing going to sell? It’s the nature of the beast, these doubts, because creative people are like that. Nothing is ever good enough for them; everything is “okay”. Or, if they are really down on themselves, “not so good”.
Quite honestly, we’re all seconds away from an Admiral Ackbar moment, and it will drive you crazy when all the thoughts of everything bad that could happen to you come knocking. I had a touch of that last night, then kicked them out of the car because I realize the more negativity you embrace, the longer it stays with you. That was the problem with my last job: it was a negative environment, and very little made me happy.
I don’t want negative: I want happy.
It seemed that once I pushed the bad stuff out of the car, a couple of characters who I hadn’t thought of in some time entered my mind, as if to put me at easy and tell me, “It’s okay, love. We all go thought this: you’re no different.” It was comforting that even someone fictional could bring a smile to my face . . .
Perhaps they needed someone to ride with as well.