Friday, February 13, 2009

Kill Your Inspiration Then Sing About Your Grief

I've been happy.
I've been too happy to write beautiful things.
For some reason it is so much easier to write like a champion when you feel like shit.
Or at least melancholy.

But when one is can you lift your fingers to the keyboard or pick up a pen?
When one is content....what do you say?
How do you describe happiness without simplifying it and sounding like Bjork fiddling with herself?
Even her best stuff spawned from something awry. OR at least some unquenchable desire she had.

In a forest pitch-dark
Glowed the tiniest spark
It burst into flame
Like me, like me

My name Isobel
Married to myself
My love Isobel
Living by herself

In a heart full of dust
Lives a creature called lust
It surprises and scares
Like me,like me

When she does it she means to
Moth delivers her message
Unexplained on your collar
Crawling in silence
A simple excuse

I suppose when I do try and get the old creative juices flowing, it doesn't help either that my children are the children who never sleep. Constant interruptions in private time and much needed sleep time can drive a person who wants nothing but to be a good mommy to the brink of postal meltdowns and face-melting anxiety attacks. That guy at the end of Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark comes to mind.
At least he got a decent night's rest before his face melted off.

But I digress.

I could be a Southern Lady sippin' sun tea on my back porch, sittin' in mah rockin' chair, fashioning a good ol' murder mystery.
I could be a laid back yet well-to-do wine maker living on a northern California vineyard enjoying my latest 2 year concoction ripe with hints of plum and chocolate, fetching the last details of my tragic romance novel.
I could be sitting on the deck of a bungalow on a beach either in Thailand or Bora Bora, glancing at sea turtles, sipping fresh piña coladas, smelling the sweetness of just-picked orchids, pounding out chapters of a psychological thriller.

But no. I am sitting in a basement, wishing I was travelling somewhere, yet loving every minute of any time I get to go out to a place and eat, whether it's pizza, cheese steaks and beer like tonight, or twin rock lobster tails like last weekend. That shit just makes me happy. And when I'm happy, I just want to sit on the couch, listen to relaxing music and fall asleep.

But I don't really want to fall asleep.

I have a problem. It's called - not allowing myself to relax.
If I sit down for a few minutes I feel like I have to spring up and do something.
Unless it's a lazy day. Then I just whine about how I don't feel good and don't want to get up, but that's not REALLY relaxing you see, because I make myself miserable the whole time by telling myself I should be doing something else.

So I was at that point tonight.
I put the kids to bed. Hubby went to his friend's house for a party.
I put on some soothing music so the kids could hear something going on in the house and not scary silence.
And I sat down.
And I listened.
And I was soothed.
And I got drowsy.
And I realized that I didn't plan on sleeping so soon.
I realized that I had wanted to bake brownies from scratch from a recipe I found on Doll Face Daily.
I realized I wanted to write something poignant in my blog for a change instead of the slew of pictures I've been putting up of my kids and of things I thought were funny today (even though nobody commented probably because they didn't think they were as funny as I did or because they were looking for something thoughtful and not silly and stupid but whatever, that's entertainment people, shutup and get over it if that's the case *deep breath*)

And it hit me.
What the fuck do I write about?
I've got all this talent and creativity and ambition.
All these ideas spew forth from me constantly (food critic, novel writer, song writer, singer, pastry chef, studier of humanities and international cultures).
But my motivation is a joke. I have no motivation other than moving myself forward in some direction.
And the punchline is.......I have no direction! Well, technically I do, but if you didn't notice, they all point in different directions. I might as well be Alice in Wonderland.

But I can't even keep up with a decent fucking blog.
I write a few good lines one day and I'm all excited.
Then the next day I realize....this is a big fucking joke, isn't it?
My large voice is really in a tiny room with a tiny window that a few people look into from time to time.

And that's fine.
There's nothing wrong with touching a few people.
Sometimes 1 out of 752398462394523 people will be touched in such a way that their entire life may be changed or possibly have a new perspective thrust upon them which is a catalyst for some kind of positive thing. Butterfly beats its wings.

You know I saw a therapist once for all kinds of unrelated stuff.
When I brought up a problem I have about being late or not making decisions on school or careers ever - changing my mind constantly, always wanting to do too much and everything instead of just one thing.....
Well, I told her I was late to my own wedding.
I don't know about you, but I didn't think it was possible to make a therapist drop her jaw and say "you're kidding".
At that moment I knew she wouldn't be able to help me, but I told my tale, saw her a few times and then quit.

I was very happy tonight, living my real life.
So why am I so depressed, mourning the unborn life of my creative writing world?
My characters? My novel? Where are they? How do I get them out of my brain?
I have an unfinished story with missing motives and undefined characters.
All I have for sure are a few vividly described scenarios but no earthly idea how they got there.

Do you have to be unhappy to unleash your inner-writer?
Let's ask Bono for good measure and call it a night, I guess.

It's no secret that a conscience can sometimes be a pest
It's no secret ambition bites the nails of success
Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief
All kill their inspiration and sing about their grief
Oh love

And shame on me for complaining about having a happy real life when so many people tell their beautiful tales of woe and sorrow, despair and desire, longing and needing, loneliness and pining, pain and suffering, confusion and restlessness.
Shame on me for resenting my good days and prosperous family times.
What's a girl like me to do?
Surely nobody should be feeling sorry for me....what a narcissistic jerk I am.
Ugh....and look what is this? A pity party for myself?

So you see, I'm happy and I make myself miserable and then I cry about my own self-made misery. Pfft. Lame.

I'll make brownies tomorrow.
I won't be starting my novel tonight either.
I won't even play WoW like I thought I might since husband isn't home.
I'm just gonna go to bed and maybe get some sleep.

* "Isobel" - Bjork
** "The Fly" - U2


  1. I am at my best when I am pissed off! I can write like the wind! Does that even make sense? Wind doesn't write. So there you have it, I am happy and I write like shit. Piss me off and I could make millions writing!

    It sucks huh?

  2. Write.
    Sit down and write, dammit.

    No other way to put it. I know it sounds specious, but you just have to do it. No matter what your motivation. Bono is right in some ways, but that should not prevent one from writing. Do it. Do it.

    "How do you describe happiness without simplifying it and sounding like Bjork fiddling with herself?" That is a gem, my dear. :)

  3. Sandi: I KNOW!

    IG: Thanks on the gem....but you know I had worked myself up to irritation when that one came you

  4. Were you really late for your wedding?

  5. Yes....I was almost an hour late.

  6. Take a writing class. If nothing else, they make you fucking write stuff. Trust me.