Sunday, July 14, 2013

Thinking Great Thoughts


Writing is hard. As I sit staring at this blog, desperately in need of a post, that's the thought that I keep circling around and returning to, like a moth to a flame, like an endless loop in a computer program in need of a bug fix.

And it's not for a want of ideas. I have plenty of interesting ideas to write about. Lots of great topics pop into my head, inspired by all kinds of things. These great ideas usually pop up when I'm busy doing something else, it seems: elbow-deep in dishes, editing a manuscript, driving in heavy traffic, drifting off to sleep. So maybe I'll leave myself a voice message or write a note on a scrap of paper and then when it comes tie to sit down and really dig in? Poof! It's nowhere to be found.

Yep. Like right now.

I've decided that I'm a wonderful thinker of thoughts--a better thinker than writer, it would seem. After recently leaving my job as a magazine editor and decreasing the number of outside blogs that I'm contributing to, I thought it would be that much easier to do this writing, the writing that I would always put off, the writing that I wanted to do but would put off for a want of time. But, ironically, that is not the case. I think I'm a victim of poor organization, in all of its magical and mystical forms.

Disorganization is my great hidden sin. It is enmeshed in all parts of my life, from the vast swaths of paper, physical objects I just can't live without, clothes that I might wear again, accessories, lipglosses that aren't just right. Digital clutter. And office supplies.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no hoarder; I don't have piles carved out through the flotsam and jetsam in my house. Occasionally I feel I have to do this in my head, and also through my computer files. When I'm not on a rigid schedule, I'm faced with this disorganization of my own design. It stops me from being productive. So I'm dealing with the clutter, one tiny piece at a time.

I'm also filling up on inspiration. Recently, I saw a link to a TED Talk Elizabeth Gilbert gave back in 2009, where she discussed her anxiety at putting out her 2nd book after the success of her 1st. In summary, she discussed a time when it was thought that genius moved through a person; not that it generated from within that person. Takes some of the onus, the responsibility for the muse off the shoulders of the artist. She also mentions a conversation she had with a musician friend of hers, a famous songwriter and performer, who had the inspiration for a great song while driving. Frustrated and knowing that he'd never remember the song, he basically sent up a prayer; asked that if that inspiration really was for him? Maybe it needed to be delivered at a better time.

I'm going to keep chipping away at that disorganization, get my house (physical and digital) in order. Maybe some yoga and meditating to clear out the cobwebs, boost my focus. How do you think of your "muse," your inspiration? What do you do when the creative power moves through you and you feel as though you can't capture it?

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