Worms Are Eating In My Brain, Swamps, Etc.

I often think of my writing process—the part that goes on inside my head—as composting. The worms of my brain take in information, process it, and expel it. (Okay, so maybe not the tastiest metaphor….) Maybe it’s more like stuff fermenting in a swamp?

Never mind.

My job as front person is to feed information to the worms.

I haven’t been writing a lot lately. I need to write; I’m on deadline; but it’s been hard for me to settle down to it. Since I journal about my process, I know this usually means I need food/information and processing time. In between sessions of forcing myself to write despite lack of energy for it, and making notes/organizing what I’ll be writing next time I sit down to write, and going to the gym in the hope something will be shaken loose, I’m reading a lot. Books are food for my worms.

I can’t always tell what I should be reading. My worms and I don’t speak directly. Also, they can’t speak because they’re worms. And imaginary worms, at that. So I just…read what I feel like reading, with the idea that it’s sort of like when you get a craving for citrus fruit or iron-rich meat. If I crave it, maybe I need it.

Last weekend, I made myself write. Friday night, when I had a writing date, every word was difficult. Saturday morning, the words flowed beautifully. Sunday, I was back to banging my head on the keyboard.

I’ll be interested to see how my writing goes this weekend, whether every sentence is squeezed out like…never mind…or whether my fingers will fly along the keyboard. The scary thing is, no matter how the writing feels at the time, it all seems to be about the same in the end. I might have felt terrible while writing a particular scene, and it will usually read just as well, or better, than the scene that flowed like water.

The important part is that I sit down and do it. All that worm excrement has to go somewhere.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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