How do you find inspiration when after eating a giant buffet of Indian food, life decides to take a run in 101 degree weather, then chug some milk before going 80’s dancing during $2 margarita night and ultimately take a giant turd on you?
Ok, my life isn’t that bad right now, but I’ve sadly begun to realize (well, actually I realized this long ago but have been in denial about it ever since) that my best writing does not come with the ebb and flow of life’s little diarrhea.
I, unfortunately, also do not have the gift of creating while being completely crocked. My great dream as a child to grow into a mentally unstable artist with seven ex-husbands and eight chemical dependencies has been dashed!
For example, check out this classic piece of penmanship I wrote when I was 22 and had a habit of getting drunk, alone, at 9PM on Friday nights in order to deal with my new life as a Hollywood assistant:
“Dear Lord, I’m so drunk, I just hit my eye on the corner of the nightstand. I can’t stop crying. I’m stumbling to the mirror like a baby. What’s this purple stuff I just threw up? Boy! Look at that pretty cut. Hey pretty! God, I want someone to hold me.”
So considering life ain’t going to get any easier, how am I, a young person who fancies herself being a writer one day, going to prevail artistically through life’s road blocks?
Let’s review the recent events that have taken place in my life;
1.) Ended employment at an establishment whose motto is, “We’ll eat your baby or puppy with a fork!”
2.) Found employment at a place that loves both babies and puppies (and the environment).
3.) Dear friend in serious accident.
4.) I changed my birth control pills which simultaneously made me want to hump and punch a tree.
5.) Another dear friend died; representation of my childhood that made me realize that was dead too.
6.) Not able to take a much needed vacation from this Twilight Zone episode “The Midnight Sun”-esque Texan heat after working nearly every day for the past 17 months, which includes not seeing my beloved family since last December.
7.) Went to the Scott Pilgrim premiere, caught up with an old industry friend from LA, remembered my former life, thought about how my life has now turned into a cheesy Generation Y coming-of-age movie that would feature some no-namers and probably go straight to DVD, debated whether or not I missed working in the film business.
8.) While listening to the song “Purple Rain” realized that Prince will never dance the way he did twenty years ago and that I’m going to die one day.
All these factors made me not only not want to write, but go take my blog out behind a shed, beat it, and bury it alongside all the dead baby and puppy carcasses that my old employment ate.
So what is one to do during these times?
I have a couple of suggestions, but mostly I want you to tell me.
You tell me what to do!
1.) Get the f out of town– It doesn’t matter where- just go. It can be the kitchen of a Waffle House for crying out loud, just something that’s going to put you in a different physical and mental place. I recommend upgrading to something a little nicer like the Golden Corral though. Hell, I sometimes drive to the neighboring city, find a bench somewhere and just sit. It’s amazing the difference.
2.) Read a book that is your style– I’m surprised to discover that after I read a book, when writing, my sentences are more developed and new words plop down on the page. There is something about this thing called “reading” that I like. I hope it sticks around for awhile.
3.) Don’t get on FB/Twitter– Er, actually, I’ve found both to be great tools in finding articles/writers that inspire me, however, that only makes up about 25% of my time on there. The other 75% is spent looking at photos of the popular people I went to high school with and quietly judging the beer bloat and hair loss they’ve acquired since graduation.
4.) Get a muse
– Well you can’t just “get” a muse. It’s not something to be forced. You know when someone muses ya and when you do, don’t be afraid to take full advantage of their inspiring abilities. Offer cookies, gold krugerrands, or sex in return if you have to.
5.) Become fearless– My biggest problem is that when I don’t feel inspired, I feel like whatever I’d write would end up sounding like something my drunk 22 year-old self wouldn’t even get. I guess I should get over that, huh?
….How do you champion through life’s obstacles and keep on writing?