Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Though perspiration is famously more vital to writing than inspiration, I'm convinced that it's inspiration that matters. That's why I hate the idea of "morning pages" - writing every day, to what purpose exactly? Yet, I guess, when you work full time at a demanding job, like I do occasionally (it's always full time, occasionally, and recently, demanding), perspiration be damned, you need some inspiration to sit down and free the muse. I'm reminded that, inspiration be damned, a nice red wine also helped free the muse (doesn't it sound like a Facebook group? 38 members.) But inspiration's what I've been lacking of late. I've had "ideas" but not "imperatives" which is not the same thing at all. I guess, the imperative for alot of writers is probably a cheque in the post or a competition, but without that, then you need to develop different ones - and I always used to be quite good at coming up with something; yet it's that which I've been lacking the last couple of years. And what, pray, is my imperative now? It's not that simple, of course. But it seems I need to have a sense of innovation to my writing to really compel me to start writing again. A few years ago I wrote a story, "I am no one" which was so non linear that it stopped me writing for a while - since how could I go back to "normal" stories after going out on the edge? The answer of course is finding some middle ground. Earlier in the year I read quite a bit, a few books like "The Damned United" and "The Book of Dave" being contemporary novels with the innovation I've been longing for - add in a bit of sci-fi and a sprinkle of Borges - and I've thrown off the straitjacket that I'd grown into, and starting writing something interesting again. Yes, that's the key. So for the first time in years, I've written 3 short stories in a matter of weeks, all very different, but all notably different, interesting, even experimental (though I use that word with a peg on my nose.) A bit of sci-fi here, and a bit of wine with a friend here, and a bad day at work over there, and voila, the chef is back in the kitchen. Or something.
Posted by Adrian Slatcher at 1:26 PM