It’s amazing how fast things can grind to a halt when dealing with creativity. There I was chugging nicely along when my muse thought it would be fun to detour me into an unimaginative wasteland. I finished my 6th chapter, started on the 7th and was quite happy with how it was turning out… then screech. Nothing. The blank page was frighteningly daunting to me. It suddenly stopped being the easy-going creative playground I’ve come to know it as and transformed into a white page of doom! It was pure agony!
My writer friends determined that perhaps I needed to make a sacrifice to my muse – a sassy little thing that demands a sprig of rosemary in exchange for inspiration – but that only lead to a conversation of whose muse is more demanding. Bloody lamb shanks and decadent chocolate dominated the dialogue for a while. We ended up deciding our muses should rent an apartment and live together, it was a lovely back-and-forth, but I got exactly no-where in my quest to write a novel. Sadness.
I slothed around for a few days, not really working on anything, watching way too much television (which seems to be the bane of my existence nowadays), and generally just procrastinated the inevitable. Sooner or later I was going to have to have to stop wasting time and actually try to write. I finally sat next to my computer, opened it up, clicked on Pages, and let the white glow of the screen bask over me. My fingers were hovering over the keyboard. Annnd nothing. The white page remained white for the longest time and I just sat there, thinking. Trying to come up with a good plot, an interesting dynamic for my characters, a planetary name, anything really. Nothing came to me. After an hour of doing nothing I ended up doing the one thing that seems to make my life a little bit better. I made tea. But not just any tea, a gaping cup of Lipton black tea with a dash of milk and (probably) too much honey. My happy place. I decided that I tried enough for one night and moved on. It took a few more days before anything else happened. It was completely frustrating, agonizing, annoying. Just plain dang stupid, in my humble opinion, that I couldn’t think of something.
I ended up drawing inspiration from the most unlikely of places. My folks and I were driving down the east coast, traveling from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania. I was sitting in the backseat with my older sister, just watching the scenery and poof. An idea came to me. Maybe I should write a scene with them having dinner, I thought, it’s a natural link to my last chapter. So I did. Maybe I wrote the scene because one of my writer friend’s asked about it. Maybe I wrote the scene because I was hungry. Maybe I wrote the scene just because I wanted to do something other than watch trees flash by. Nonetheless, I did. I ended up writing a tiny little thing that afternoon, only two pages or so. I may not even use the dang thing, who know? But at least it was a start. At least it got me writing again.
Remember, writing is an skill, you have to cultivate it, spend time with it, agonize over it, in order to watch it bloom.
Time for me to agonize again. =)