"You cant wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."
- Jack London
Well, I've been attempting to put my money where my mouth is the past few weeks with regards to writing. After the big office upheaval, I started making myself sit at the desk and stare at a piece of paper. It's amazing the things you can find to distract yourself when trying to force some creativity. I sit in my little turquoise chair, holding a pen, listening to music (the soundtrack to Pride and Prejudice is my favorite) and think to myself, "Gosh, I really should put some laundry in" or "Hmmm.. I haven't balanced the checkbook in a few days" or "I wander if I fed Mabel today" or my personal favorite, "That picture looks crooked, I should hang something else there."
Sometimes I wish I could join a writers support group, meet other people who are as scatterbrained as I am. It might be some consolation when I find myself Swiffer sweeping the corner dust bunnies instead of working on a project.
Anyway, I've recently had a breakthrough. The first legitimate story idea I've had in months popped into my head a few weeks ago. I like to think of this stage as the 'honeymoon' phase for ideas. The beginning is the most exciting, the middle stage makes my hair thin and by the end I'll be pacing at night and talking to myself. But for right now, it's very exciting.
My youngest sister (who is a tremendously talented writer) told me once that I should draw my ideas. Make a notebook of scraps of dialogue, scene settings; anything that pops into my head. I'm attempting to do this, and while it is a lot of fun, I feel pretty darn silly with my markers and child-like sketches. But, I think she's onto something here. All too often I jump into a story with both feet, neglecting to plan or outline the ideas. This time, hopefully, I'll avoid some of that 'lack of preparation' that so often plagues my stories.
The 'no-TV' nights haven't gone exactly as planned. But, it has been so helpful for me to realized the things that choke out creativity. I've found that turning off the TV, going into the office and shutting the door really helps. We all have a tendency to wait for creativity to strike, but sometimes (I think), it's OK to force it. If I sit long enough, quiet enough, that little magic spot in my brain begins to wake up. All I have to do is take out all the distractions. Ha. Easier said than done, no? Anyway, since you've all been so wonderful to listen to me bemoan about this writing business, I thought I at least owed you an update. For now, it seems that this writing thing is going my way.