Sadly, inspiration strikes at peculiar times and doesn’t last; hence the true meaning of the word. Using inspiration to write scenes or snippets is often how I have written for years which, I think is a strong indication of why my writing hasn’t gone anywhere. Writing only when ‘inspired’ or ‘creatively lit’ can only get your words so far.
Combing through my GBs of half finished or even a quarter started documents, I have accumulated countless of misfit pieces that would appear to have no meaning and no home. They are samples of what my imagination can do at few and far between times deemed ‘appropriately inspired’. Riddled with incomplete ideas and rhythmically beautiful sentences, they are only delicately crafted scenes. I struggle with picking them back up again, embodying the same attitude and eloquence that is already on the page.
Most of my characters aren’t even complete in my head. They have one or two displayed traits and most likely, some sort of troubled backstory (who said the writer doesn’t bleed into their work?). And I uncover them sometimes, revealing new pieces as I go, if I get the opportune chance to pick up the end strands and start weaving again. But it almost never is easy.
I have one completed short story. One. Which hey – more than some people right? This particular story I’ve been working on for years having started it during my first year at Agnes Scott (ah, good ol’ Transfer Bitch). And it’s been declined for more contests, publications, and peer reviews than I can count but shit, it’s my one story. It took three months to complete it and apply polish with feedback, helpful or not. I remember thick and fast tears falling as I wrote the last words alone in my dark dorm room and how different I felt afterward. Even sharing it for workshop later that week, I felt distinguished from my peers having told this story. How silly that seems now, looking back…
Silly or not – I felt different from my classmates. Not exactly better than, but different. A theme that has pervaded throughout the obstacles of my life, rather like a dragonfly humming above the salmon as they migrate with the current. A feeling I cannot shake and still struggle to embrace despite the closer and closer I get to finding ‘my tribe’.
I am growing to see that writing can be my place, where the conversation between the writer and the reader is quiet, contemplative, and unique; where difference is rewarded and treasured. A place where readers and I can at least share a basic interest: reading.