Inspiring the Temporarily Uninspired
Writing is not only my craft but my passion. I derive enormous pleasure from toying with words, stacking and fitting them into sentences like Tetris blocks, all the while creating an inspiring and colorful geography. When I write, I am a master conductor, leading an orchestra in making auditory the universe of feelings; I am a painter whose colors stroke the eye, capture the moment, and challenge the mind; I am a teeny, tiny little god who uses a keyboard, black lines on a white background, and her imagination to spin two-dimensional worlds into being.
I really, really like writing.
This is not to say writing comes easily to me. My literary muse – let’s call her Shi-Shi, the fat muse of inspired writing – is way-too-often on break, perhaps on her cell phone with Sesha, my academic muse, or maybe playing hide-the-catnip-toys (where do those go, anyway?) with one of my cats. So I’ve grown used to finding inspiration on my own. Oftentimes I just plunk down in front of the computer, forbid myself approximately 813 times the temptation
Facebook, and make myself write,
sentence by grueling sentence, paragraph by slogging paragraph, until I’ve
finished for the day. Other times I drop with a happy plop in my computer chair
and listen to the percussive music of my fingers playing keyboard. (Those latter
days, rare and beautiful as they are, rock, by the way.) However, most of the
time, I coast between these two extremes, approaching my writing with hope and trepidation
and slowly, eventually losing myself in my literary landscape.
|My cat, Chunka, playing with one of her catnip|
toys before Shi-Shi cruelly hides them.
I do have a few tips for aspiring writers out there who struggle with their version of the Shi-Shi-less blues. When I’m writing a scene, or multiple scenes, I usually get super stoked right about the time the scene’s climax happens. I mean, duh, right? But you know what? I often stop writing for the day during that climax. It’s frustrating, sure, but it also makes coming back tomorrow that much easier and more exciting. It also makes for more seamless writing.
That said, sometimes I just can’t help it and I end my writing session when the scene ends. Of course, this means tomorrow’s writing will take much longer to get into. My rather weak solution is to include a snippet or a reminder at the bottom of my page about what tomorrow’s writing will include. I might also pen the first paragraph or two of the next scene. That way, I’m a bit less lost when I sit down the following day and once again snatch up those writing reins.
So, yes, writing is my great passion, my favorite art, my ultimate medium for expression. Alas, it can also be quite tedious and stymieing.
Sometimes it’s challenging to be a minor god of a made-up universe.