Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Pits and Pendulums of Writing

Anyone who has tried their hand at writing has experienced swings from inspiration to boredom and creativity to lucidity. For me, what causes these things is not as important as how to handle them. Certainly being a husband, father of five and a Boy Scout Scoutmaster lends itself to periods of pure exhaustion. Still, there are those oasis periods in that I find hours upon hours without something "scheduled" to do.

Naturally when these periods occur I tell myself to run to the computer and begin writing. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Although I'm not much of a television person, I have been known to fill some of these downtimes with mindnumbing video excursions. Other times however I can be found sitting at my computer staring at a pure white screen that begs me to begin typing, but nothing comes.

The rarer of these occasions will find me at my computer, typing like a madman, unable to type as fast as my brain comes up with ideas. If I am writing on one particular project, those are some of the most fruitfull experiences. If instead I am simply writing to keep my mind excercised or to compose a short story or article, the files get saved and remain dormant somewhere within the recesses of that electronic black box.

In the past, I have had the luxury of specifically set aside times each day to write, but lately I primarily have only one small time slot during the week to write my great American novel. Sadly, these boxed in timeslots are often accompanied by an internal conflicted desire to simply relax. Sometimes that is just what I do.

Because my current status as a writer is more as a hobbyist than a career, I find it suitable to enjoy both the times of creation and relaxation. It has taken me a number of years to accept the fact that my novel will not be written this week, but each time I pen a scene or chapter, I feel a sense of accomplishment.

I rest in the hope that one day the story in my head will land in your hands, and the years of toil and rest will bring you joy and excitement.

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Favorite Books

  • Portals to Hell
  • To Die In Chicago
  • While God is Marching On

Favorite Movies

  • Dances With Wolves
  • Gettysburg
  • Glory
  • Master and Commander
  • Red Badge of Courage