musing about the muse, from Simon
Strike or no strike, writing seems to be in the air.
As I write this, Sera is ensconced in some top-secret East Coast garret, summoning the muse in a highly classified way. I envy her the novelty of the setting; I imagine (though she's temporarily incommunicado) that she's inhaling a plume of steam from her mug of jasmine tea and gazing out at some byzantine Manhattanscape, letting the view summon the words.
Seemingly in sympathy with her NYC adventure (or perhaps bereft at her absence), the L.A. skies have been emptying bucketloads of rain – a relief to my garden, though the drops fell with such violence this morning that our downspouts began a gargling metallic song that woke Julia and me from our fitful, cold-addled slumbers.
The prolific raindrops make me think about writing, naturally.
You see, I started a project eight or nine years ago that never really got going ... but never really went away, either. It stalled after a few dozen pages, and my attempts to revive it with writing workshops, vacation laptop marathons and copious pots of coffee all failed. I just couldn't move ahead. Partly, I guess, because I'm better with the moment-to-moment details than with the whole narrative-structure thing (in case you hadn't noticed from my very hot rambles).
I'd return to the thing every couple of weeks, dropping in tidbits but not making any substantial headway. Still, the enterprise wouldn't leave my brain. And don't get me wrong: I don't believe in completing something just to say it's done. If the passion is gone, forget it and move on. But it kept haunting me. My iPod features a playlist that forms the intended soundtrack, and every time I listen to it the faint outlines of this ghostly scriptive entity sparkle in the middle distance.
But recently I found that whatever brain blockage had prevented me from moving forward had come unstuck, and I made a huge amount of progress in a short time. It's not quite done yet, but the end of a draft is, for the first time, in sight.
I say this not to elicit congratulations (why, after all, should you care?) but to underline a point: If there's a piece of art in your mind that won't go away but won't fully arrive either, don't despair.
No drought is forever.