(I Also Write Children's Books!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Hacksaw's Edge Of Inspiration

I thought I should try and write a post right now. I just got finished plotting out chapter 2 (and it might be 3 and 4, it's a bit big and I may split it) of Quite Contrary. There were things that disappointed me in the first chapter, compensations I need to provide so that what I love about what I've made already can shine. Thoughts about all of this have been building up all week, along with plot events for the chapter and individual inspirations. But I've spent the whole bloody week painting the new house under fierce time constraints. When I'm not working I'm exhausted unto death and unable to write properly.

Tonight I woke up from a nap with enough energy, and it all fell together. Molly Of The Blood woke up. Usually it's Molly Of The Broken Spring who plots, but I've been too deprived lately. Now, see, this is why I felt I should post now. I'm one of those crazy, frenzied, passionate artists, right? Combine that with a fascination with human psychology, and a long while back I named various parts of my personality.

Molly is the name I gave my entire right brain, my creative side. She has aspects, but it's not so easy to divide them. Molly Of The Blood is the purest creative frenzy. I've read about the way the brain functions when visual artists work. They lose any sense of time, their ability to process language is severely impaired, they can't do math... when I am Molly Of The Blood, I go through all that stuff. For an hour or two there I had no personality or thoughts other than the writing, and if something else tried to get my attention it was an unwelcome intrusion. And if people tried to talk to me, I couldn't talk to them back except in a jumble of half a dozen words. Not without pushing Molly away and losing the inspiration. And yet, it's an inspiration to *write*. I assure you my outline is not only coherent, it's rather fat with literary detail. That ability with words is borrowed, allowed one tiny corner to exist.

And there are no emotions during that process. At least, none I could describe or remember. Writing is *all* I'm doing if it gets intense. But when it ends? Man, the high. I could dance on the ceiling. I'm quick witted and melodramatic and I enjoy playing with words far too much. In awhile I'll crash and be very depressed, but by then I'll be asleep, so HA! I WIN THIS ROUND, CHEMISTRY!

Does anyone else write like this?


  1. I don't write, but your description isn't far from the hyper-focused "programmer's trance" that good coders tend to enter when they work, and that I've experienced full-on only a few times in my life. (There's a reason I'm a sysadmin, not a programmer.) While in most ways writing and programming are very different pursuits, both require building large mental structures and keeping them in your head until they can emerge, either as text or computer code.

  2. I'll admit I don't understand how I write. Sometimes I feel like there are lots of people living in my head, or if not living there, visiting regularly. Often they are grumpy and spiteful because I spend so much time ignoring them.

    Mostly I see my head as a house, or maybe not a house, but some sort of gothic office building with lots of rooms and corridors and floors and forgotten hollow spaces. There are garrets and sub-cellars and places I forget to look. And then there's the place where the file cabinets are, and there's something that sits in the spinning chair and opens and closes the file cabinets as needed. Sometimes it seems very automatic. Which I guess is to say that for all my perfectionist tendencies, I don't think I'm actually in control of any of this at all...