Yesterday I stared at a blank screen for several hours, hoping for some flash of inspiration. Pieces I had in the works weren’t working. Scraps I’d previously cast aside remained scraps. By the time I called it a night, I’d written eight sentences. Every one of them was crap. Not spectacular crap, remarkable in its failure, the kind that sparks Simon Cowell’s scorn on “American Idol.” No, this was boring, bland, barely-worth-mentioning crap. No train wreck, just a fender bender. But one that left the vehicle stranded. And today, at first, wasn’t much better.
Nothing inspired me.
I read. I surfed. I chatted. And still, bupkes.
At work, I’ve got enough to do that I can easily put aside one task for another when I simply can’t get my head around the first. Here, no such luck. It’s write or go dark. Finally, I thought about what drives me. I recognized the thing that inspires me is the process. I like to see nothing become something. I like to hear the words in my head and watch them scroll across my screen. Instead of focusing on the finished product, I concentrated on a single step. Then another.
It wasn’t always pretty. But I finished. Tomorrow I’ll do it again.
I know we all go through it and we’re not always in a position to just let it go. I’m curious how everyone copes. What gets you moving when you’re just not feeling it?