Sunday, 13 September 2009

Seeing Your Own Name

So, here I am sitting in the guest house in Orlando, enjoying my holiday and having absolutely nothing but a blank slate knocking about in my head. I feel very dense and ignorant - the creative juices have come to a complete standstill. I suppose that is what being on holiday means.

At the back of my mind, I have that niggling little voice that's telling me I need to write something. Anything. Whether its a few more pages of book three or some inane words for my blog. But the mind draws a blank. It doesn't help that there is much to see and much to do and much distractions that split your brains literally into two.

What do I need to feel creative? Its very simple: Quiet time.

For me, quiet time can come in all sorts of disguises, places, or moments. But mostly, it's that time where there are no distractions other than my own mind talking back to me. Yes, it's a little worrying, but I do answer back. Sometimes, I even have lengthy conversations...

Having a computer helps. There's no end of mindless jabber that fills up the noise of everyday distractions and eventually, quiet time slowly pushes itself in. Amazing, but true. And then, while ambling around your favourite websites - webmail, Facebook, etc., hoping to find some inspiration to your story, you just happen to click onto your publisher's website, just to see what's new. And then you pause...

What do you see? Your name. Correction: MY NAME!

I cannot begin to describe to you the feeling you get when you see that. Nor the wide grin that spreads across your face. There, listed among their authors, is my name. Finally you feel as if it's all for real - all that time spent writing, creating, seeking, pouring over their contracts, making sure you made the right decision...finally comes to the point where you say to yourself: Yes, it's really happening. I am being published and my work is going out into the world for all to see.

Then you grin some more and can't stop for some time.

Suddenly, you feel like a writer. Of course, after the first nasty critique you will no doubt receive, you may beg to differ. But for the moment, you're your own dream come true.

And the creative juices start to spout forth and you want to write on any surface that will allow you to. You start to see things, people, instances, moments, everything in a different dimension. I never knew it before, but now I do - or have come to realize - that the dimension is the writer's dimension. You take one step back, retract your eyes inwards and into that 'place' where you simply observe, process, calculate, project... It's like going undercover in plain sight. You see simple actions, phrases, moments in a different light. While you observe, your mind injects varying scenarios as to what would happen should one thing be out of place, if one moment were done differently. If you shifted your viewpoint, your thoughts, your would that alter things? Before you know it, you've created a whole scene, one that could be used, exploited and enhanced and used in any way you see fit. You start to join that scene with another, then another...and the rollercoaster beings.

Of course, when you've got a shitload of distractions, like shopping for those shoes you saw the other day, well...what can I say? I suppose I should carry on with my priorities and see my holiday through like a trooper. There's always time for writing - after the vacation is over.

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