I did get some writing done while on vacation, but it wasn’t the ‘sit down at the keyboard with a furrowed brow’ kind of writing. Noooooo, my Muse was in a mood last week, striking when I was not in the optimum position to receive her inspiration. You know what I discovered? As long as I have a way to get the words down, it doesn’t have to be optimum. And, given that illness and general malaise have been blocking her of late, I was more than happy to do what needed be done to take advantage of her attentions.
For example, I was with my family, sitting in the co-pilot seat as my wife drove us up to Daytona for a day trip. The Muse slid her sparkly-nailed fingers up my spine and dove into my brain right then, while I was spacing out on signs for fishing camps (with baitcasting reel) and the occasional remnant of hurricane damage. Freckles, she whispered, freckles and sex…
For a few moments, I just let the story roll around in my brain, steaming up my inner space with its sexy funk but then I grabbed my iPhone and began to write, opened up the Notes app, letting my thumbs fly over the keyboard. I drafted the story on that drive and finished it later before posting.
It happened several times like that. Though I brought my laptop and my Kindle, my phone is my most constant electronic companion and over the course of the week, it was the tool I used most to capture the Muse’s transmissions. On Monday, early in the morning when insomnia struck and I was battling a fever, Buddy was telling me stories to console me and keep me occupied (the alternative would have been to cry and be depressed about being sick AGAIN). I sat up in bed, picked up my phone and thumbed out several paragraphs on his stories about the girlfriend he had when he moved to the city. I think that happened a couple of nights, actually. Yesterday, on the drive back up to Orlando and the flight home, I started thumbing a review of Brace Yourself by Alysia Angel. In contrast, when I opened up my laptop with the intention of writing, when I made space for it, I was stymied by distractions and lack of inspiration.
There’s a lesson in this somewhere.
One, the Muse will come when she’s good and ready and doesn’t really give a rat’s ass what you’ve got going on. She’s an ‘in the moment’ kind of magical creature. Also, all I need is a way to get words out of my head onto something more permanent. Paper will do, but so will any electronic device. I also learned that I can thumb-type hella fast, much better than I can do on my Kindle. If I want to write with my Kindle, I’m gonna need an external keyboard. I wrote a review of Wool by Hugh Howey, which I finished on this vacation, via the Kindle and it was kind of torturous. Not only am I totally awkward on the keyboard, the auto-correct functions are sufficiently different from iApps that I had to re-correct almost half of it before I was finished.
In a more serious vein, though, I don’t think that insomnia writing sprees and road trip thumbing sessions are gonna get the job done with regard to my novel, so I will need to insert some discipline into the process. Maybe I need a writing top, someone to crack the whip a bit and toss me cookies when I do well. Maybe I need a writing group for sharing and encouragement. I can do this alone, but it would be much more fun if I didn’t have to.
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