The Future of Memories in Writing


2019 has been a difficult year for me when it comes to my writing.  Everything else seems to be getting in the way and sapping my brain of any creativity.  So I just sit there and stare at a partially blank page and nothing happens.

After close to a month of this, I decided to try reading some of the books that have been stacking up in a pile that only grows in height… which is a good thing.  I finally did make a dent in that pile (there was much rejoicing), but it didn’t help with the original problem, aka writing.

In the meantime, I’ve met a bunch of other writers both in person and online and it has been an exhilarating experience. Getting to toss ideas back and forth for laughs and even a possible story or two has been fun.  I did get a bit of writing done but not on what I wanted to finish.

I dove into other activities to the point where free time was only a ghost and getting any words down at all was a rumor.  At the same time, I did make some progress on those other activities but the need to write only grew stronger.  I went back to that partially completed page and just stared at it.

And now my time was up.  I had given myself an end date to get that first draft done so that I could get the second book in the Matilda series out and it was now a couple weeks back.  I figured if I can’t write maybe I can edit.  The answer to that was… no.

Ugh, what a quandary.  My brain is screaming at me to get some words down but then offers nothing but doubts in myself to write.  It reads the words that I had written and comes up with a big fat zero as to how to make it better.  So, what do to right?

After struggling with all this nonsense for longer than I care to admit (almost three months), I went back to the source.  I have been rereading the first book, The Matilda, to get a sense of the characters and the universe they inhabit and I am enjoying them again.  I am catching little things I had either forgotten or never really noticed.  New ideas are filling spots that I was struggling with in book four of the series and I feel some of that excitement again.

On top of that, my wife found the only copy of the very first long story I ever wrote at the wondrous age of twelve.  I had thought it lost forever like the spy movie I made with a friend when I was fourteen.  But there it was in all its handwritten glory!  My dreams of being a writer in those pages and there were so many good memories trapped in them.

So, why do I bring up any of this?  I feel incredibly happy right now.  Here I am struggling with getting another word down and getting the next book out while feeling like neither is going to happen.  The future looks bleak.  When out of nowhere came the voice of a twelve year old boy to show me that I can do it, because I have done it.  That little voice reminding me that I should keep doing it because I always wanted to and the only thing in the way was me!

Who knew that a memory from the past would push me back into the future it had envisioned so long ago.  I sure didn’t.

And for that, I salute that little boy and his dreams that I will continue to make a reality.

Who knows, maybe I will share that silly story here some time.

Author: jongraylang

Novel Writer, Screenwriter, Filmmaker & occasionally an Actor. Handy with a Sword, Ukulele, and Skis. Author of Nun With a Gun: The Town with No Name, The Matilda, Twistin' Matilda, Black Matilda, and Secret Matilda. Writer of the upcoming Sci-Fi sequel, Waltzing Matilda.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: