When Not To Write

I just returned from a short trip home to Dubbo. I have been lazy and hadn’t written anything for more than a week but got the urge to pick up my pen. I was trying to bash out an additional scene to ‘White Mist. Red Evening’ (I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be not working on that) and I was regularly interrupted by customers entering my parents’ takeaway shop.

Although lacking in inspiration it simply felt good to be writing again, to get the creative juices churning. In fact, what I was writing was a mess, things bubbling up in my mind and threatening to run away. I had to get them down as quickly as possible and to be torn away to some other task was frustrating in the extreme.

I think it’s important in this early creative stage just to try get down all that primordial goo down on to paper and worry about it crystallising into something structured and polished later. I’m certainly not at the genius stage where everything that flows from my pen is gold and stardust. Write enough words and there’s bound to be a gem in there somewhere.

Serving customers is what a restaurant is all about so that was all to the good. I can put down a thrilling novel or my guitar mid-song but the act of creation is different. I feared to lose whatever words were bubbling up and what momentum I had with them. Obviously this kind of multitasking is asking for trouble and now I’ve experienced firsthand the frustration of having the flow interrupted. The tough question is whether to start writing in such conditions in the first place.

Well that’s it for now and for this year. People seem to be getting in the New Year celebrations mood and it’s catching. It’s been a good year, 2011.

Happy New Year!


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