I got a call twenty minutes after posting my last entry. It was Mary, inviting me to lunch with her friend. So, I hurried up and got dressed and went over to meet them at a local Mexican place. I know, Mexican food's not exactly on anyone's "diet", but you know, I've lost 20 lbs. already by cutting back, not snacking, and avoiding certain foods, so I must be doing something right.
After that, we went to Starbucks for coffee. That hadn't been in the original plan, but we were out and I wanted coffee, and I think it's important to patronize the places in which you own stock. Mary had a book that she read. I, of course, managed not to have anything: no book, no notebook and pen, nothing. So I sat patiently and listened to the voices in my head, and managed to get an idea for a story, the first part of which has been written and posted to Ghostletters. It's as close as I've come to "gaining inspiration from the Muse" in some time.
Which I know is complete and utter bullshit. The fact is that inspiration, such as it is, doesn't come from some broad with a magic wand, or the gods (small or capital G), or a sudden flash of brilliance from the cosmos, or even from being in the right place at the right time. It comes from taking the time to listen to the voices inside your own head.
Oh, I can sit at the computer for hours, running in circles, waiting for email to arrive, checking my LiveJournal friends page, browsing the web, playing solitaire, listening to the voices in my head and not doing a damn thing about them. I can sit in a coffee shop and read books about writing for hours. It doesn't make me a better writer, or even one that makes any sense half of the time.
I think what most of us call "writer's block" is actually barricades that we erect because, like it or not, we don't really want to deal with those voices that are telling us what to write about. Maybe the things that we're writing about cause us pain, or maybe we're not sure where it's going to go, but more often than not it's because we're just not in the mood to write. We're tired. We'd rather poke into our friends' lives. We'd rather chat. We'd rather watch TV. We'd rather do any of a million and one other things than pick up a pen, attach our glutes to a chair, and force words onto paper. Even if one of those million and one things is nothing.
I don't know what prompted me to go on like this. Maybe it's the fact that I'm wearing my Panties of Righteousness because I managed to write a 2000 word story for my stupid mailing list. Maybe it's the feeling of relief not unlike the feeling you get when you take a massive dump after a few days of constipation. (Sorry, I had to say that.) Maybe it's the head-smack moment I had when I had finished the story that something that I had turned into such a heartwrenching and Herculean task was a lot easier than I had thought it was. Maybe it was the realization that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Hell, it beats the shit out of me exactly what I'm going on about.
It just feels good. OK?