I’ve been thinking lately, about writing. Thinking about how I want to write more often, more effortlessly, where idea’s spring out of nowhere and words tumble from brain to page without a single headache or punch to the keyboard. I do a lot of thinking about writing, and very little writing comes of it.
So is it time? Is it lack of inspiration? A gold medal effort at the Procrastination Olympics?
I don’t know – probably all these things wrapped up in a layer of reality that is a full-time job, raising children, keeping a house and generally filling my “spare” time with mundane relaxing things like searching the interwebz for photobombing animal pictures or trawling YouTube for cartoons from my childhood. It’s usually just before or after these mundane activities that the thought “Oh hey, I know what you can do! You could write something!” pops up, quickly followed by the moan of the half a dozen notebooks scattered around the house containing snippets of story ideas and character names. They’re tired of being neglected, but they’ve learnt that no Laura is sometimes better than Half-A-Minute-Scribble-Then-File-Away Laura. She’s no fun. She just uses you then forgets you.
I have a love/hate relationship with snippets. Snippets mean a great idea exploded in your head with enough force to power a small developing nation, then fizzled into a few scratchings on a page, soon to be relegated to the one day I’ll do something with that pile. But on the other hand I like snippets. They can be tasty little nuggets that awaken a dying hunger. Words that feed me, making me want more. More! Snippets are, however, fickle things. More often than not, I come back to them and they’ve changed. The shine they once had has faded and I look at them, as if seeing the uncle I idolised as a kid, has turned into a very normal, boring person. That said, I squirrel them away knowing the one day I’ll do something with that pile is plump and always ripe for picking.
No. I think my problem is more conviction oriented, rather than inspiration oriented. I’ve arrived at a spot as a writer where I don’t feel the need to prove myself to others anymore. I’m going to write what I want to write and opinion be damned. I’m not out to be the next big thing, or make money from it. I just like to write and when there is no ultimate supreme being outcome in mind, you get complacent. Well, I do anyway.
At first, I thought I was thinking about writing (and not actually writing) too much. But the more I think, the more comfortable I get with my voice. I’m not pursing a style or a market, I’m not trying to emulate someone else’s success. While I think about writing, I’m working out who I am and what I want, which short story idea is going to leach through on to the page first, and which new idea gets fed into a notebook to ripen over time.
I like thinking.