The truth is, that process (whatever the heck it was) has been driving me crazy. I'm really good at sitting down, getting a bead on my work goals for the day, zapping the target dead center. I'm dogged about revising. I'm obsessive about sending work out to magazines. But I was so focused on the frustrations of trying to get published, trying to accumulate readers, trying to finish the blinkin' endless novel, that I was turning into some post-modern incarnation of a WWII fighter pilot, who'd mark the plane with a red slash of paint every time he made a kill. (In my case, an acceptance. And for all my relentless diligence, there weren't many slashes.)
It's beginning to dawn on me that the writing-as-air-warfare model has nothing to do with why I started writing in the first place. Being raised Quaker oughta kinda shoulda told me that my true inspiration might not be Mars, the God of War...?
|Funny how we miss the obvious|
I'm going to start small in my exploration of how creative work can be nurturing, not straining. I'll begin with my body. As I work, I'll spend some time in silence, looking not into the screen of magic and disillusion, but out the window. Just look...notice how vibrant the grass is with all this rain. I won't push for a result. My eye rests on something that causes relaxation to settle in my back and shoulders--at this moment, the motion of birds, the fast, gentle rain as it causes horizontal surfaces to dance with motion. Words will come to me; they always do.
I'm waiting for the arrival of a new muse, a female one. A Quaker one?! :)
What about you? Can you take a moment away to refresh your body and mind? If you don't have a room with a view, are there pictures you can rest with in a meditative way? Does certain music reach below the tension? If concentration is an issue, start small. Don't pressure yourself. Take a few seconds here and there. Just look, just listen, just close your eyes and feel the air on your skin. See what happens.