Friday, February 22, 2013

When Inspiration Strikes

I hit a rough patch after some tough family stuff, and my writing had ground to a halt.  But I think last week's post actually helped me break through.  I accepted the fact that writing can take many forms, gave myself credit for keeping something going in the midst of it all and printed out the messy hodgepodge that is the middle-to-end notes of my current manuscript.  I read through the hodgepodge, and a funny thing happened.  Some shapes began to emerge from the primordial soup.  I made notes on the manuscript, scribbling here and there.  Nothing quite beats paper and pencil and objects in hand when you need to shake up the etch-a-sketch of your brain.

After a satisfying session of reading and notating, I had to jump in the shower.  Wouldn't you know it?  As so often happens, inspiration hit in the shower.  A new, crystal clear opening paragraph that brought the whole mess into focus.  Grabbed my bathrobe, jogged out of the bathroom and down the stairs to catch the fire in words.  Typed it up, printed it out, and tucked it in my bag to bring to my writing partner that day.

The end?  Not quite.  Walking the 15 blocks or so to the coffee shop, a steady rain falling, and BAM!  The next chunk of text crystallizes in my head, with a nice, fresh emerging metaphor that launches me where I want to go.  So I stop in the middle of the sidewalk in the pouring rain, grab what shelter I can from a nearby tree, and scribble down that second chunk.

Still not done.  I get to the coffee shop a bit early, grab a seat, and start scribbling more.  More!  More!  After great feedback from my writing partner, I ran with the new stuff when I got back home.  Suddenly, I've gone from stalled and stagnant and how-will-this-piece-of-&(*%&^-ever-work to jazzed, excited, clarity, fresh and vivid language fun awesomeness!

I'm an aquarius, and, while I don't normally put much stock in the zodiac, it certainly seems like there's something to this water sign thing.  Clearly, inspiration strikes me with the droplets.  How about you?


  1. Cindy, you've captured so eloquently the process of writing--and of being stuck. We've all been there. I always gain insight when reading your posts. Thanks for continuing to inspire me.

  2. You've just described the past week of my life - with the important exception that the chunks haven't fallen into place yet. However, partly thanks to you, I'm confident they will.


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