Yeah. I said it.
You’re sitting somewhere, minding your own business, when all of a sudden a tide of creative mojo washes over you. Plot problems resolve themselves in midair before your eyes, cloudy dialogue becomes clear as a bell, and the worlds align.
Bam! You just got yourself a bad case of the inspirations.
Problem is, just like when you have the trots, being hit hard means you need to take care of business. Now.
You rush to the lab (aka, the laptop) and jot down your fresh stream of ideas with a fury you can’t control. A fever takes you over and you lose yourself to the process. An unknown amount of time passes and you begin to feel that this is all that life is anymore, and it’s all that life ever will be. You and your idea receptacle, which is oh-so-thankfully here to sweep those ideas away from you so they can be sorted and sanitized later when you’re feeling better.
Then, just when you think it’s over and settle yourself down to watch some evening television, you get hit again. Fearing the worst should you ignore the impulse, you race back to the laptop and let it all out. Round two!
This can happen several more times, until the next thing you know you’re plum exhausted and your Friday night has dissolved into some alone time you never intended to have. Time to hydrate, preferably with something that comes from a glass bottle. Yo-ho-ho-ho, the writer’s life for me!
I’m always amused by the way the writing process is romanticized by those who write, those who pretend to write, and those who don’t write but have always thought there was something whimsically ephemeral to it. I don’t want to say that the writing process isn’t magical. Disappearing into a world you’ve created for hours on end is at the very least mythological or something like it. Psychologists have other words for this, but they’re not nearly as charming or complimentary.
But creation can also be messy. And messy is okay. As I heard on a recent back episode of Gossip Girl, “if you walk in halfway through surgery, it’s going to look a lot like murder.” That’s right–I watch Gossip Girl while riding my stationary bike, and I have unlimited depths of shame about it. But I figured that while I was comparing one of the world’s most sacred artistic processes to the runs online, I might as well come out of the closet on everything.
Writer’s block, on the other hand, is a lot like… The other thing. You know the one. Don’t make me say it. I already said the d-word on the Internet. I don’t want to say the c-word, too. Okay, fine: Cookie. Are you happy now?
If you’ll excuse me, I have to take care of some business. Some writing business, that is. Phew, now that I got this blog out, I feel so much better.