Being a writer is a strange affliction, sometimes. At the moment, it’s like having a girlfriend who never remembers my name. The reason for that is that my agent, Darth Vader, has in his hot little hands the manuscript I have been working on for the last year or so, and there is currently nothing I can do for (or to) it. So the logical thing for me is to start working on something new.
Every time I start again I feel like I’m starting from scratch, and that nothing I’ve done thus far buys me much of anything. It’s not like that with any of the other occupations I’ve had. If you’re an electrician, once you’ve learned how to wire up a motor, say, or diagnose a bad neutral, you’re good, and the next time you run into one you’ve pretty much got it knocked, but there are no such guarantees with writing. I feel like I have to con myself into it when I sit down with a new project, I have to find a way to ignore certain realities, such as, I’m not totally clear on why I need to do this, and I for sure don’t know where I’m going with it.
What seems to happen, though, is that I go without a work in progress for a few weeks, and then I begin to get this weird itch, and the only way I know to scratch it is to find a pen and a clean legal pad and begin listening to these characters I keep hearing, and taking notes. If nothing else, it serves to help me forget about Vader for a while.