One of the most frustrating things about writing is writing. The question of what to write and where to start. I know. Start at the beginning.
And where, pray tell, is that?
My thoughts all seem coherent until the very moment I face a blank page. Suddenly I have no understanding of what’s going on in my head. It’s as if I’m trapped in a room with twenty barking dogs.
All noise. Nothing but noise.
And lots of poop.
The interesting thing that I’ve learned is that the jibberish that I hear in my head every time I sit down to write, somehow reveals something worthwhile. But even with the promise of revelation, the difficult thing for me is staying on track.
I bounce from one revelation to the next.
There are so many stories to tell and so much stored in my head that I literally find myself going in twenty directions. And that’s just at the outline stage. It’s enough to make me insane.
I know one day it will.
I went to high school with someone who is a successful poet and playwright. We’ve lost touch over the years but I often wonder what his challenges as a writer are. He was a writer out of the gate and I don’t know that he ever saw himself as anything but. Yet, I know it isn’t easy.
It’s never easy.
That’s the part so many writers fail to adequately communicate. All I ever seem to hear them say is that the story told itself. The characters revealed themselves and came to life. Like the sculptor who chisels away at a block of marble to free and make visible the beautiful form that was there all along. Concealed.
I want more. I want to know their secrets.
But the truth is that’s the truth.
I’m reminded of this whenever I turn to what I call my seat of inspiration. A chair at my bedside that is home to some of the works that I go to for inspiration. It’s where I go to calm my mind and find focus. I come away with a whisper of understanding that guides me.
It’s the altar where I begin.
And still, it’s never easy.