This last week has been rather crazy. I’ve had so many things going on that have absolutely nothing to do with writing, and as a result, my brain shorted out. I’ve stepped back on some of the writing projects that I should probably not have been working on for at least six months anyways and am going to focus purely on Fire Burning Bright and getting the On Behalf of Death series ready for publication. That decision made, I still had to figure out a way to get my brain working again.
So I watched YouTube videos. All of yesterday afternoon.
Most of the videos were crafting/maker related; there’s just something calming about watching people make stuff and be creative. But in the midst of watching these crafting videos, I stumbled on a video essay about The Last Unicorn (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M57VN_b9FRM). And suddenly, I was transported back to my childhood, when fantasy felt so very vast and timeless and wonderful and real.
If you don’t know The Last Unicorn, it is a dark fantasy movie about a unicorn journeying to figure out where her vanishing kind went. There’s death and scary monsters and morally ambiguous characters and I love it. In retrospect, it’s probably not something that young children should be watching, but then again, I was introduced to The Lord of the Rings at an extremely young age, and I turned out fine. 😉
Anyways, watching this video essay brought back a great deal of wonderful memories and it felt like I was on the cusp of being a child again. Anything was possible and all the worries and woes about the current situation (which I will tell you about come May-ish) and all the things that have happened this year fell away. I wasn’t worrying about marketing. I wasn’t worrying about my annoyingly long to-do list. I wasn’t worrying about things that are outside of my control. I just was.
I think there’s something special about being able to go back and re-read or re-watch stories that were such a large part of my childhood. It reminds me of a time when things were not nearly so caught up in the real world. Also, I can look back and see what I loved about the stories, why I loved them, and also explore the deeper symbolism involved. (In the case of The Last Unicorn, there is a huge amount of deeper symbolism which I completely missed as a child.) This knowledge lets me really understand why those were such great stories. Once I understand that, then I can apply that knowledge and understanding to my own stories.
All of this nostalgia has given me a fountain of thoughts and scenes that I intend to include in Fire Burning Bright. I am not stuck on the characters any longer, I understand the plot and I know precisely what aspects of humanity I wish to explore. Not everything is clear, because I don’t care to write that way, but I have enough of an idea to know precisely what I am going to do. And I’m thrilled.
The moral of the story is that sometimes, it’s okay to let your brain recover and to go off and do something entirely different. You never know what you will discover.