Stories: A Hobby or A Lifestyle?

Every now and again, my head becomes a very crowded place.  I’m currently revising one long (30,000-40,000 words) story, writing and typing a prequel, and playing with several short (about 10,000 words) stories.

[As a side note, it’s interesting that I can churn out a short story in a month (if I’m really busy) or a week (if I’m not), but a story three times as long takes more like two years.  One of life’s little mysteries.  Perhaps if I could just stay focused….]

Anyway, my head gets pretty crowded.  Each of the characters wants to talk, each of the scenes has something to show, every last plotline could always use more tweaking….

Some weeks ago, I had a problem.  None of the books available to me (personal copies and library books alike) seemed interesting.  (Horrors!)  I’d checked my email and a few of my favorite websites (if you like writing, and haven’t heard of Writing Excuses, check it out!), and played minesweeper until I was ready to explode.  I didn’t particularly feel like writing, but I couldn’t think of anything else.  Plotlines, characters, dialogue, description, motivation… I was almost – dare I say it? – tired of my stories.

Not tired in the sense that I’m-sick-of-this-and-never-want-to-do-it-again, but tired in the sense that I’ve-been-thinking-about-this-and-nothing-else-and-desperately-need-a-diversion.  I got to thinking about this, and wondered.

When I read, watch movies, crochet, etc – am I doing this because I enjoy it?  Or because it lets my mind rest from the unceasing chatter inside my brain?

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