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Monday, September 8, 2014

Word Debris

Photo by Laura Bear 
It's been a frustrating few weeks. The computer is still in the shop (it wasn't the graphics card after all, it's the screen...maybe). Still on the loaner computer with my hard drive inserted, but little weird widgety things keep happening to dampen my mood. I have a love/hate relationship with technology. I am quite fickle, I admit. I only love it when it works well. I really hate it when it doesn't. But, yes, I need it, so I have to figure out how to work with it. I have little-- make that--noooo patience for computer malfunctions. Zero. Zilch.

Anyway, I have been searching for inspiration. I have all these ideas in my head for stories and for the new novel, but everything I try to write falls flat. So, I went to Julia Cameron's book The Vein of Gold: A Journey to Your Creative Heart. She lists a survival rule about attitude, "Do it, don't judge it." She reminds us that we won't always like what we create. And that mood is "slippery" and "can't be trusted." That the reward for patience is process. The process itself. In other words, be patient and do the work anyway. Eventually, the stuff that you think is terrible might begin to look pretty good. Or maybe some of it will be pretty good. Great, even. Or at least, better than before. Just keep doing it or you will have nothing because nothing begets nothing. So, okay, I'm doing it.

It doesn't do any good to beat myself up for not meeting a certain word count or for not knocking out polished prose with every keystroke. I can't approach writing that way. But, I can write whether I feel like it or not. Inspiration is great, but if I had to wait for the mood to strike every time I sat down to meet a deadline, I wouldn't finish anything at all. I think Cameron has it right. Process is the reward. Sitting down and just doing it is much more likely to entice that crafty critter Creativity. But, now and then, it would be mighty fine if Creativity showed up unannounced and blew the roof off the place. Just sayin'.