Sometimes I open my laptop and click on Word. Then, on a single page, in Cambria font (size twelve), I’ll find very strange words and phrases written, such as ‘yoga class gone wrong’ or ‘corrupt librarian’. These are obviously the products of my sudden and quick flashes of inspiration for future stories. Today’s example was ‘flamboyant and gorgeous gay lifeguard’. I’m not sure what I’m meant to do with him.
I’m searching for inspiration. I was given some advice not long ago – or maybe I read it somewhere, I don’t remember – to only write what you’d like to read. I can’t tell if this is good advice or not, because I’m in a bit of a slump lately on the reading front, though it pains me to say so. I’ll start writing, one paragraph, two, three, four, all the way up to fifteen – a record! But then it stops, then I realize that no, I wouldn’t be all that interested in reading this actually, and delete everything. You’re not meant to do that as a writer, are you? But then, I don’t think you can be counted as a writer properly unless you’ve had anything published, and unless a short piece of Twilight fanfiction published in a small-town Kansas newspaper counts, then I don’t think I qualify. (I was fourteen.)
My point is though, that I can’t tell if I’m being too picky with what I’m writing – would I not read it because of my slump, because I personally have no time to read so have to be picky with the stories I do? Or would I not read it because it’s just plain awful? I don’t know which, but I do know that I shouldn’t delete because I could always come back to what I’ve written later. But maybe that’s just the perfectionist in me: present the finished product or nothing at all. Which is perhaps why I haven’t submitted any piece of my writing since the aforementioned Twilight fanfic.
But back to the idea of inspiration – the magic word. My little flashes are fleeting and underwhelming, and it’s been frustrating me to no end. I graduated from university almost two years ago now, and since then I have not had the urge to work on anything. Is this the result of having to work obsessively on many stressful and emotional projects to a strict deadline? Is it the result of having my ‘creative babies’ graded and analyzed word-by-word and scene-by-scene? I now call them my creative babies because last year I went through a three month spell where every single dream I had involved me being very, very pregnant. Upon Googling, I found that dream-pregnancies are metaphorical for projects you’re nurturing or ‘giving birth’ to, whether it be creative works, home improvement, career ideas, etc. I haven’t had a pregnancy dream in a long time, which worries me a bit.
Where have my ideas gone? And, more importantly: when will they come back?