Nope, I didn’t forget today’s poem. I woke up this morning, sat in my chair with my notebook and a mug of coffee…and nothing. This doesn’t happen to me. I don’t get blocked! But I did. In large part this was because I couldn’t select my subject matter. Three guesses what I finally settled on. Funny how just picking something and giving yourself permission to suck, just so long as you move forward works. Or at least that’s been my repeated experience. Anyone else?
Feeling very meta today about the act of creation and the way we play with ideas and stories in our minds. I’ve had one in my head for half a year now, more or less stagnating, watching all my other ideas pass it by. Then a few days ago I had a new idea, one that would be a stretch to make work. It had heart and structure but lacked originality. Then came the old idea, which I think has a great concept but the characters weren’t leaping out at me and the story wasn’t wanting to shape. They came together like they were meant to be. It’s tough letting go of pieces of each of them, but the new thing is far more powerful and I can’t wait to bring it to life.
Twice I have been given assigned the exercise of personifying my muse. The purpose of this is not to create another identity within yourself–that’s simply unhealthy–but to give oneself the vision of something that can be trained or overcome. We are creatures of story and when you give a story to your creation process it becomes something more manageable. By training your muse, by overcoming it, you are in effect overcoming your own internal obstacles. It should come as no surprise to any that know me that I envision my own muse as a dragon.
If you haven’t read Stephen King’s “On Writing” and you are a creative writer, I highly recommend it. A passage from King’s book has stuck with me through the years, in which he describes the art of writing as an act of telepathy. Through writing we are literally reading each other’s thought, putting hem directly from one brain into another, regardless of time or space between us. An interesting thought to consider, no?
The holiday season was crazy, and it’s been a blissfully tumultuous start to the new year. Throughout which, I’ve been writing. Poetry is easier because it’s shorter and for me comes in bursts, but I love writing my novels and telling stories. I’ve been pushing myself to write and publish more of them and finally – FINALLY – my efforts have been rewarded and a routine for regular creation is coming into effect. This morning, after I finish my coffee, start of the day rituals, and walk the dog, I get to answer my calling and delve into my vocation.