Upon the Western Sky
There is a vision
Which grows nigh
I know not where
Or whence it came
Only I have seen it
Time and time again
What does it mean? Well, to be honest absolutely nothing. I just write the words as they come to me. They don’t always have a set purpose or reasonable explanation. Sometimes phrases, sometimes only a word and if I’m really lucky an entire idea or two will just arrive unannounced in my mind.
So let me rant for a moment about inspiration. It is fickle and fleeting and I cannot seem to induce it regardless of all the tricks and maneuvers and stimuli I have tried over the years. I wish at times that I were Hemingway and I could bring out my inner genius with alcohol. Although not great for the body, I would venture to say that the brilliance it generated in many a writer such as Hemingway was probably worth the negative effects on their bodies.
I suppose I might wish that weed brought out some more enlightened side of me but alas it does not. Not that I’ve ever tried it… I’m just theorizing, hypothetically, if I ever had tried it that it would not result in any brilliant or worthwhile thoughts.
As far as all of the authors who recommend free writing or having a set schedule to write and sticking to it no matter what – all I can say is it has never worked for me. I tried having a muse to inspire me but my cat and my dog failed at the task. Lazy yes, inspirational, no they most definitely are not.
So then how does someone like myself who lacks the initiative to stick to a writing schedule and cannot write a word without inspiration write? For those who say you can write when you are not inspired – well to be technical I could and I have but it never yields anything noteworthy or even remotely interesting.
Had Captain Crunch for breakfast today with the kids. Drove them to school and picked them up later. Slept for the hours inbetween. Contemplated getting up an hour early but saw no point and stayed asleep until time to pick up the kids from school. Making Chicken Carbonara for dinner.
That is pretty much what it would be like. My stories written when uninspired are lackluster at best. They have no emotion, no excitement and my lack of interest shows. So then where does that leave me?
Well I’ll tell you. I wait and I think and I go about my life and I wait and I think. The amazing thing about inspiration, for me anyway, is that it doesn’t have to be some major event or major occurrence or even anything remarkable at all. The smallest thing can set off a chain reaction in my mind that yields unbelievable results.
And when these moments of inspiration strike whether they last for hours or days or mere minutes, 99.9% of the time I take them and run with it. I don’t let anything get in the way of writing or painting, as the case may be, what I see in my mind. I write like the dickens when the ideas come rolling in. When they roll in, sometimes it’s a flood and sometimes it is a drop of rain.
This last project I have been working on, the whole sci-fi/fantasy show from my novel – it all came to me in the shower while staring at the bar of Irish Spring. Just like that, in the blink of an eye, an entire universe complete with people and planets and dimensions and gods all came to me. It was extraordinary and consumed my thoughts for a long time after. Although just in case anyone gets any ideas, I do not recommend spending hours in a shower staring at a bar of Irish Spring.
And tonight as I sat on my couch, as I so frequently do, I looked at my mug of tea and for whatever reason the words about the western sky came to mind. At first I considered dismissing them entirely as I was being lazy and didn’t feel like getting off the couch. After a few moments I realized they were not going away and hinted of more to come. So I wrote them down. I have no idea what they mean or where they will end up
but I know they are the beginning of something.
Now I sit here ranting about inspiration and its unpredictability. The thing is, I have given up chasing inspiration. I am content these days to let it find me where and when it will.