Inspiration is very important to me. Important to find, important to share and mostly, important to hold onto once it’s achieved. I find this the hardest issue of all when speaking of inspiration, as I often feel it slipping between my fingers like a fuzzy dog tail who does not obey when the front door is opened.
Inspiration is my key to humor, wit, charm and often good sarcasm. It makes my writing what “I would want to read” if I were to come across it. If the inspiration of the moment is out of grasp just long enough, I lose it and often cannot return to the place I left it and retrieve its gifts. Believe me I have tried. Re-creation of a moment or scene, re-reading materials, engagements in conversation that may have caused the spark are all attempts of futility at best.
As the “creative writing” half of the duo in my partnership, I am called upon to use my imagination to stimulate the minds of the readers, the viewers, the listeners. This is no easy feet, as that inspiration to be creative comes at all times of the day, all places within my day… for example the car or shower (just to name a few). Probably the two most inconvenient places to come face to face with an earth shattering inspirational idea.
I have learned to cope, and so have those who are forced to live with me. My mirror in the bathroom is often the medium of choice. I have found that sharpie markers work on mirrored surfaces and can be cleansed away with hand sanitizer. That being said, my mirror is usually covered in phrases, words and diagrams in which my husband must navigate around in order to properly brush his hair each morning.
The car is no different. You name the semi-flat, space-available surface, and I have probably used it. Envelopes, scrap paper, school assignments, permission slips, the occasional napkin (which by the way is not effective at all!) litter the side pockets, glove box, floor and tiny abyss between the seats… often never to be retrieved in time to make any sense at all.
I am not the conventional writer portrayed on TV and movies, snuggled deep in the covers of my bed typing away at a beautiful laptop while my husband gently snores beside me. No I am the one trying to get these words out of my head at 6:15 in the morning, just as the kids have left to catch the bus, wishing to God I did not have to jump in the shower and be ready to tackle a morning commute full of frustrated drivers.
I would love to be the writer that had quiet time (lots of it) during a normal day to gaze upon the Chicago spring emerging from my windows as I wrote long novellas of inspiration and wisdom with a warm mug of cocoa, steam rising next to my beautiful workstation (that no one ever touched but ME). Inside I would be laughing at those brave souls who had to put in the 9-5 grind, just to find themselves worse for the weary 10 hours later.
But alas, I am one of those poor souls, rushing, typing, counting down the minutes, achieving a new form of heartburn fueled by the mixture of drinking coffee too fast and anxious stomach issues that arise out of the dreaded morning mantra “Will I get there on time? How long will the drive be today? Is the meeting at 9 or 9:30? Will my GPS lead me the right way today”
Perhaps it is due to, and not in spite of, that these normal moments, where I am but a calf in the herd and not a leader in the pack that stimulates such inspiration. Perhaps it is because I am out there, braving the storm, literally and physically, that creates moment of AWE that inspire good writing.
Perhaps tucked away in a bed or alone in a quiet, beautiful magazine style home is not at all inspiring to me, but boring. Sure I would relish in its comforts for a day or so, but I think I may get bored and lose inspiration and creativity. It could indeed be the moments of tranquil that come without warning, the quiet that emerged because the dog has stopped barking and is now chewing on my slipper, where I find the inspiration because time is so limited.
Limitless openness could be overwhelming. I guess I like the idea of catching the proverbial dog tail every once in awhile, knowing that I got it before it slipped away. Perhaps that is my inspiration all along.
There goes the first of many school buses of the day, so let’s see where today’s journey takes us.
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