Monday, March 8, 2010

A reflection on writing, or my first real contribution. (1)

I lay on the bed and there are times when my mind feels empty. Searching for something, anything really. A feeling, a memory, some kind of emotion, they all refuse to come to me. That would make this too easy. Starting is always the toughest part of any project for me. Inspiration cannot be forced exactly, at least that’s what I always tell myself when I can’t think of anything. If inspiration itself cannot be forced, then it removes any failure on my part if I cannot come up with anything creative. I could go looking for inspiration though, but it can be elusive even when it is right there.
I get up and take a cigarette outside. This would normally spur me into an odd state of perceived relaxation, but inner tension followed by guilt because my husband just quit smoking and here I am hiding cigarettes from him. I feel nothing though, not even a satisfaction in smoking. It has become boring. I guess it is for the best when carcinogens lose their luster.
I anoint my eardrums with the sassy sounds of Jill Tracy’s “You Leave me Cold.” I think I can leech off of the creativity of others, but I am not transformed in a pool of inspiration. I think of Hunter S. Thompson’s Gonzo journalism. Is writing itself a journey? Is the process and experiences of the writer just as important as the actual story and how it came to be? I’m reading Jack Kerouac’s On The Road and Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, along with Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time when I can actually locate the books. My toddler is watching The Wiggles, perhaps, after hearing that video for the millionth time, that is why my creativity is draining. Oh, on second thought maybe the fact that “In Da Club” by 50 Cent is also included in my iTunes playlist is the problem. Oops, that’s not very deep. Machines of Loving Grace, that’s a bit better for thinking.
So, where is inspiration? I have found it for other things and in fact I am in the midst of another writing project, other than this one. That story comes to me in dreams, pictures and motions. Bits and pieces, different scenes, all for me to paste together. I feel it and the characters are real enough to me. I spend a lot of time thinking about how they would react to different situations that I encounter. What music would they listen to if they were real? I can’t admit that I talk to them because that would be weird. Wouldn’t it? This blog project will eventually become like that novel attempt. I’ll be feeling it and living it. Am I at a climax yet? I can scarcely make a distinction.
Writing. Is it an inner monologue? Is inspiration based on outside stimuli, or an extension of our innermost brain cells? Inner desires that would be inappropriate in the real world? Societal, spatial, linear limitations cast aside in the name of art. The fact that we cannot know what everyone else in the world is thinking, but in writing we can if the author wants us to. That’s probably one of the allures for me. Too many medications, therapy and self-help in the form of blades, needles and burning metal placed against my skin, just to learn that I can’t make people happy all the time, I cannot make myself into someone that everyone likes and It is unrealistic to know what everyone wants from me. There, I just saved you several thousand dollars if you’re in my situation. All I want to know is everything, including your thoughts.
Fingers flying over the keyboard of this tiny Mac as if a pianist playing a concerto or a child picking through “Chopsticks.” Either way, the words will come and with practice it becomes easier, much like anything else except for living. Living sometimes gets harder because people become sick and the body wears out, and you know that time is limited, but the finite is even tough to grasp sometimes, and every now and then one can go through the spazzing “holy crap, I’m going to die one day, and I haven’t done anything at all with my life and I’m... whatever age now.”
So, here I go to do something with my limited time on Earth. I will proceed to backcomb my hair for the next few minutes or so, and then try to smoke another cigarette, and see if anything interesting happens while I’m outside. Perhaps there will be a real story here tomorrow, instead of just a reflection on processes. The important thing for me was to just get a starting point. I'm good from here on out.

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