what to do, what to do?

Posted: February 27, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

You have a germ of an idea, a germlet really, and start writing. Suddenly it’s as if the all the powers of the universe converged on you and you alone. Inspiration is swift and relentless. You begin to type furiously. Words come from you like 1,000 arrows from 1,000 bows. Oh, you can feel it all, you can see it all! Secrets and eternal truths emerging from deep within, from a place you never before reached, never knew existed. Thoughts, ideas, grand themes and illusions roar. Your fingers cannot keep pace, but you try. Oh lord, how you try! The world is nothing. It doesn’t exist. You’re in the zone, baby. Sirens wail, thunder explodes, babies cry. Your family tries talking to you. You’re oblivious to everything because you know, you know, you are in the midst of something epic and rare. You toss back your head and manically cackle, a genius embraced in brilliance. And you write.

Tears fill your eyes. You shake your head in astonishment because this one piece, this one burst of writing, is such an insightful, shattering, and emotive work of art! You don’t care about typos. You don’t care about the occasional awkward sentence. None of that matters. They can be easily corrected. Mere editing. But you can’t edit soul and it’s the soul of your readers you’re going to take hostage. It’s all there, man, and it’s flying out of you. Move over Chabon! Take a hike Delillo! Get lost García Márquez! Make room for the new voice in town!

The end is in sight. Oh, how rapturous it will be! How astounding! Every phrase, every word, every syllable combining to create this mini-masterpiece. Sure it’s only a blog post, but that doesn’t diminish its power. You bang out the uniquely satisfying conclusion and know you’ve created what you never thought possible – writing that leaves people awestruck! They will not be able to describe the magnitude of what you’ve done. Again you cackle, a virtuoso blessed with the power to leave people speechless because your words say so much! Oh the irony!

You exhale and take a drink of water. How much time has slipped by? You don’t know. Could be an hour, could be three. You feel a strange sense of exhilaration. “So this is what great writing feels like,” you think. You stand for a moment and stretch. You’re energized in a way you’ve never experienced. Now is not the time to stop. Correct those typos, fix the one or two clunky phrases and post your child (because yes, the love you feel for what you created is that intense) for the world to discover.

You begin to read. The first few sentences are weak, but you remember it took a minute or two before inspiration swept you into its glorious arms. You get through the first paragraph knowing it will coalesce. The second paragraph shows no improvement. In fact, it’s worse. Your basic premise is not shining through. Hell, you can’t tell what the basic premise is. The words just lie there like a dead skunk in a ditch. Where’s the razzle dazzle? Where’s the brilliant insight? You read on with increasing alarm. None of this makes any sense! It’s all crap! You read faster, with more urgency. Good god, this sucks! If you didn’t know better you’d think it was written by a three year old. It’s dull, obvious and, worst of all, boring. It’s the most horrific thing ever written! Serfs in the Middle Ages were more literate. Cavemen etchings showed more insight. You’re a fraud, a failure. So much for fame. Goodbye fortune. It’s so pathetic it’s not even good enough for a stinkin’ blog post. But you must share something. What to do, what to do? You realize there’s only one solution. Reluctantly you begin anew, write about your miserable failure and half-heartedly post it. You shut off the lights and climb into bed. As you drift away a faint whisper reassures you that tomorrow’s inspiration will ring true.

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Comments
  1. mysterycoach says:

    I think I ended up in your spam folder somehow…

    Like

  2. Actually, I pretty much think everything I write is brilliant immediately after the fact. It’s not until I re-read it a month or two later that I agonize over why I ever hit that button.

    Like

  3. sparklebumps says:

    Yeah, I pretty much think this every time I post something. I’m always amazed anyone even reads what I write…

    Like

  4. edrevets says:

    The good thing about writing is that you can always write about something, even the failure to write. I like the idea of little puffs of steam or smoke coming up from the keyboard when I’m typing really fast….someone should develop an app for that.

    Like

  5. Unless you lose it – as in computer malfunction or operator error. Then it is the truest, most brilliant writing that you have ever done in your life and only becomes more so as time passes.

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  6. Amy says:

    This is too true to even be funny.

    Like

  7. Honestly, I don’t even read what I post. I just hit publish and see what happens. Because even if you don’t like the thing you just wrote, someone will. I usually try to put warnings on the bad stuff. No, I don’t. I just post it.

    Writing about badness is still writing. And still an inspiration.

    Like

  8. iamnotshe says:

    Hey, i wouldn’t be so hard on yourself … your book (writing) might make a million in the US 😉

    Like

  9. Then you discover through comments that are left by fellow writers or writer wannabes, that writing about the failure was inspired. Despite the foreshadowing of the title, the last paragraph surprised me. Well done, John!

    Like

  10. Bassas Blog says:

    Brilliant! It’s similar to having a conversation when you are drunk. At the time you truly believe you are the most entertaining person on the planet! 🙂

    Like

  11. This comment started out okay, but then it sort of just, I don’t know, maybe in a way just, you know? Like a kind of… um… yeah. Just like that thing.

    Like

  12. mysterycoach says:

    hahahahahahaaaa!!!!! It’s 5:30 a.m., and I’m laughing out loud. hahaha!

    Like

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