Experiences in Writing
My writing chair is not old. It is one of those gas strut faux leather things with a padded seat and arms, and the ability to recline, which I often do with feet crossed on the desk proofreading my work. Comfort, but mostly price was the allure, after all, how long does this writing business take?
Surely a book comes from ‘within’ and then it’s subscription to some process of laying down the words like bricks to build a house or a road you wish to travel…follow that yellow road. That one book we all have in us. And it does happen that way. One word at a time is all readers do, right? Writing is just laying down the road as you travel along to your desired destination, one brick at a time, filling out the scenery with trees, birds and other animals, towns and mountains…you get my point. But it’s not. To keep the metaphor going, the path ahead is a fickle thing, sliding in and out of focus with many directions to take.
Distractions that keep us from the task of moving forward. You can easily stumble for direction and find yourself back at the beginning. Only, if you take one step at a time and keep moving forward a most peculiar thing happens. The path you think is solid and direction radiating like Polaris falls away in your writing. Words and ideas quickly fill your page like a wave you ride all the way to shore. You become lost, and you must. Lost in another idea adjacent to your main focus can reward you with the discovery of that ever elusive thing, your Muse.
Stephen King describes his Muse in his book On writing A Memoir of the Craft as…buy it to find out. Believe me when I tell you it’s a book every aspiring writer should own and scribble in. Mine is tattered and well inked, like my chair that’s falling apart. It thinks it’s a periscope, my chair, and occasionally without warning, we take a dive together. I’m not sure how to incorporate stuffing falling out with this submarine analogy other than to say I need to take drastic action.
A nice German model with plastic mesh and all the lumber support you could ever wish for would do nicely. However, it comes with all the price attachments to match. My hide hasn’t touched the soft belly for fear I would have to commit financial ruin and pay for it on credit on the spot. Sorry…back to what I was taking about.
So you find yourself in some strange idea, not mapped out in your writing plan you swore the last thing you were ever going to do was to stray from. But here you are in a strange valley. It’s dank and dark. The canopy masks all sunlight and you feel a shiver prickle your skin, like someone’s watching you. You keep moving and stumble on a cluster of ruined buildings covered in moss. No one is here, so you think. Deeper you go. This is his/her territory. The last place you expected to find, and the book about fairies, romance between feuding Italian families or about a friendly giant is left behind on that hill up there where the blackness now completely engulfs and is lost to.
What do you do? It would be easy to highlight the text and press the delete key. Don’t! This place you find yourself in was put here for a reason. It’s someone’s home. You have been invited in. To leave would be rude and you may never be invited again. Take the time and discover what secrets dwell within your muse’s home however uncomfortable it may seem at first. Keep writing. Discover. After all, you only arrived in this magical place because you put in the effort and laid plenty of bricks. Your Muse won’t keep you here, but will be your companion on your way back. It isn’t mythical, this strange little creature, but your mind expanding. Enjoy!