Writing is an internalized process inspired by external stimuli. Everything experienced by the five senses in the course of day-to-day life can become fodder for a story: the smell of fresh-mown grass, the burning sting of a bee, fire engines screaming past, a bitter cup of morning coffee, or late-day sunlight bathing nearby mountains in a golden glow. The smallest of sensations or experiences may bubble to the surface during the writing process and become part of what may just be the next Great American Novel. That’s why a writer needs to get out and about on a regular basis. Someone who has had little experience with the world at large won’t have much source material with which to work.
I’ve gathered up plenty of these all-important sensations since the beginning of this year and now seem to have so much that it’s all stuck inside. Whenever I sit down to work on my current WIP I can’t figure out what to use so I play games while trying to organize my thoughts. I then ‘zone out’ to the point where time runs out and no actual work is done.
Away from my writing environment, of course, thoughts about how my story should progress flow like fine wine. My drawers are full of various slips of paper with random thoughts that sounded good in my head as I walked to work, but don’t fit with what I’ve got on paper, so that I once again end up stuck inside my head trying to figure out ways to get from point A to point B.
The best way to get past this is to just write. I know that. Getting anything down on paper is better than having all these random bits of inspiration floating free. I know that, too. At some point, I’ll be able to fit all the right pieces together to find the story waiting to be told. The logical part of my mind knows all this. Yet the part of my mind stuffed with all the sensory information waiting to be used has become so crammed that it’s pushing my logical thoughts into a dark corner where they’re struggling to find the light of day.
Discipline and determination are needed and I’m making a pledge to myself. This evening, I will start chipping away, using whatever thoughts break free. Tomorrow night, I’ll do the same…and I’ll continue with this routine on a daily basis until the words flow free. Making sense of them will come later. What’s important is that they escape onto the blank computer screen before me.
I’m tired of having this story stuck inside. Time for it to see the light of day.