Music moves me but I find myself unable to think when it is playing. My little brain can get stuck on a ripple of notes and I can't think of anything else until I'm able to repeat it. Sometimes it takes days. Or some songs seduce my entire attention--like the Chicken Dance. Then I'm unable to put the little gray cells to anything else but another chorus of the song. Even humming it under my breath to the dismay of those other people in the meeting...

Paintings or other visual things make my eyes play with the shapes as my mind gets lost playing in the sparkle, colors, and shapes. Yes, I like paisley.

I'd like to say there are things that inspire my imagination and spark my writerly creativity, but I haven't found out what they are. If I did, I would invoke them. Regularly.

However, being a bit short on being able to rely on actual inspirational material that I know will do the job, I have to rely upon my tricky little mind. It seems to work best when I'm not under pressure to think of things I must do. It seems to need to be relaxed and then I must put my body to doing mindless things. These mindless things, so far, are sleeping and driving long distances between turns (our nearest town of any size is Garden City or Dodge City--both about a hundred miles. There are six corners from my garage to Garden City and six to Dodge City also.) So I guess I live in a good spot for those driving miles. Vacuuming and showering have been good for a few good notions. None of the mindless activities are reliable. Even when engaged in these actions, ideas are like lightening strikes--few, far between, but fraught with extremely high voltage.

Thank God for the voltage. It is what powers me through until the story gains a life of its own. Like a newborn baby, the idea grows, becoming a wondrous being of its own, able to run, skip, and cry. Eventually, if I'm really lucky, the power stays with me until the story ends. Maybe a a fizzle or a sputter occasionally, but still, 'the end' finally comes.

I doubt if this true story is inspirational to anyone, but I hope it will let other know that you're not alone when stories don't flow or wonderful ideas ignore you. We are all writers and come to our talent in various and curious ways. Be gentle with yourself. But keep writing--no matter what on or if the material is drivel. It improves your grammar skills and keeps the finger muscles flexible--if lightening strikes and your story moves ahead, you'll be ready.


Anonymous said...

Music almost always inspires something in me. I have even tried to make different play lists for different scenes or characters. I think it's just the way music can touch us in ways that we least expect and just like we want our writing to reach out and touch the people who read it. With music and writing it's truly all about putting that piece of yourself into something.

And on a totally unrelated note and I hope no one minds. I wanted to share that I'm in the top 21 of the Mills and Boon New Voices contest and my chapter is up along with 20 other really great chapters. Anyone who enjoys romance and has the time, should go cast a vote.

My New Voices entry - The Billionaire's Game of Love

Penny Rader said...

Hi Nina! Glad you're back.

I bet you see some incredible lightning strikes in your neck of the woods. Thanks for sharing!

Joan Vincent said...

Nina, it IS wondrous when the story just flows. I once wrote a book in six weeks. It just wouldn't stop and I had to write so I could find out how it ended. When I'm writing a story most things don't inspire me either and I haven't found any tricks to spur me on. Either my characters carry the story or I plod along. I get to pitch some of it but usually it leads to the end.