“Man jumping into ocean,” notsogoodphotography/Flickr , under CC license.

DiaryNot Gone, Just Distracted

Today I took a look at the Dausha Publishing website. My last blog post was in August. Over six months ago. Have I disappeared?

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The short answer is no. If that’s all you are looking for, then you can move on to the next article.

The longer answer is I hit a bit of a roadblock with Luctation. The novel was moving well, but I did little research into the milieu. Call it artistic debt, much like technical debt for developers. The further I wrote, the more the debt accumulated. Eventually, I got to the point where continuing writing was mentally challenging. Not the writing, but my inability to tolerate the debt.

Maybe you could call that writer’s block. We’ve all had that phase, right? When I think of the story I get excited. But, I recognized without the background research—er, development…who can call fleshing out a fiction setting research—the story was grinding to a halt.

So I took a break. Simple as that. I let my sub-conscience chew on the problem a bit until I was ready to take it on again. Muse is like a mule—it won’t be pushed when it does not want to. I lifted weights. I started a side project, focused on friends and family, and just stayed away from the story.

I’m on my way back now. By reading the rules for the table top RPG Traveller, I started developing the milieu at the star system level. I finally have a map that resembles the Imperial Core Worlds. I’ve placed Copa, home of Scintilla, on the map in its own backwater. With a map my mind starts to process the other challenges not developing a milieu created. Once I’ve retrofit Luctation’s systems into the map, I can move forward.

A friend once told me that progress is not always moving forward. Progress is sometimes stopping or backtracking. The past six months have been idle progress.

As an author, how do you justify your artistic break?

© 2012 Ben Wilson. All Rights Reserved