Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Knock On Your Own Creative Door

How many times have you sat, fingers poised over your keyboard, and cried internally for forgiveness from your absent muse? And while you know you didn’t actually do anything to offend the keyholder to your inspiration bank, you’re not taking any chances – just the idea that you’re kowtowing to your lord and master of the word gives you the kind of hope experienced by some poor soul hanging off a cliff-edge by their blistered fingertips.

You wonder is your muse really exclusive to you, or is she constantly on call, busy flitting from one struggling writer to another? How many scribes does she have in her stable? A handful wouldn’t be too bad – she’d have time to get to everyone and still make it home for dinner. But maybe yours has a dozen or more fretting aspirants, all teetering on the edge, striving for a firmer grasp on a visual, even a word, that will fuel this session and propel them onto a new path filled with unlocked doors to wonderful new worlds.

Such a struggle. The stress of just sitting there, waiting, striving to connect with an abstract morsel, reaching beyond madness until you can’t take it anymore and give it all up for another cup of tea or coffee and the thought that being a nuclear physicist might have been a more productive career option.

Why put yourself through so much unnecessary turmoil? I know from my own experience how the whole ‘waiting for your muse’ thing goes. It doesn’t. That’s the unpalatable reality. Waiting will get you nowhere fast, whereas chasing down that elusive git will place you in the centre of your creative arena. You are your own muse. You are the creator of your own ideas, the hunter of wild and dangerous visuals, the instigator of imaginative scenarios, the lord and master of your words and how they gel together into magical shapes of your own making.

Of your own making – that’s the important phrase. If you wait, you’re not a responsible writer. Actually, you’re not a writer, because waiters do nothing but…wait, not to mention suffer with all the stress involved. No, it’s time to don the gladiatorial garb of the word warrior and step up to the line – your line – that symbolises the beginning of your proactive campaign to write, to scratch your mark on that blank page, to pound those keys until you’ve sweated sense into the tumble of words emanating from your frothing mind.

It doesn’t matter a jot what you write about. You’ve been hovering over nothingness for way too long now, the very action of putting words down creates its own momentum. Just write, but endeavour to heighten your language, lifting your words from their everyday status. Instil life into your description of the scene outside your window, a photograph of your loved one, the memory of something ordinary that might very well become extraordinary with a little consideration. Adding colour and texture to the simplest of concepts will bring them to life and might even provide you with a nugget that you can shape into an idea that has legs. It’s the legs that matter. They’ll take you forward, and forward momentum is a million times more progressive than sitting in your shadow waiting for inspiration to come knocking.

Knock on your own creative door. You never know who might answer.

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