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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

What Are These Pointy-Eared Jabbering Things?!

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

What Are These Pointy-Eared Jabbering Things?!

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muses
I've unfortunately had a lot of practice with forced non-creativity, with the past three years an example of that. It's always an interesting experience, and after a while, I become almost convinced that I'm not really a creative person anymore and have gone suddenly "normal." It's not as upsetting as it sounds; being non-creative is more blah than anything actively unpleasant. It's like the old conundrum of treating depression: Many depressed people don't perceive that they're depressed, and the depression snuffs all motive to work against the depression. When I'm non-creative, I don't perceive that I'm not creative either. It's not like I feel the lack of creativity; life just becomes a lot more literal.

Of course, there are glimmers that there is something beyond the tidy bounds of the life without imagination. During my first year of school, I was rabidly writing poetry in lieu of longer pieces, memorizing them during scraps of time I could steal and writing them down later. During my internship, my mentor assigned me to write a model essay for one of the freshpeople's compositions, and an hour into it, there I was, pouring my heart out on the keys with tears on my face. (I was writing about my Uncle Wodie and his illness and death when I was a teenager.) There was that old familiar sense of submersion beneath the bare details of life.

I do wonder, though, during my bouts of forced non-creativity, if the muses will ever come back. I once accidentally trained myself to become creatively inspired by the smell of the rubber mats at ice rinks (that isn't as random as it sounds, I promise) and so tend not to believe that "creativity" and "inspiration" are these entirely nebulous, non-physical entities that bestow and withhold their blessings without any say from the writer--although it can sure feel like that sometimes.

Well, I got my answer on the question of muses. The day I handed in the last of my school assignments, I awoke in the night and proceeded to lie sleepless for the next hour thinking about the prequel to AMC. And today, I enjoyed a very non-productive morning where each sentence I wrote for my articles was punctuated by a two-minute daydream about the sequel to AMC. So it seems the muses are back in all their annoying, pointy-eared glory.

I am going to be tough on myself this summer. I have been tough on myself for the past three years in a way that is entirely contrary to my character; this will be contrary to my character too but is very much needed. I am prioritizing my creativity this summer. It's very easy for me to put the needs of others above my own, but I'm not going to do it this time. I'm going to write and paint and send out the stories for publication that I've been saying I was going to send out for publication for years now. I've made good progress on my goal, only a few days into it. I've rejoined Critters and submitted my short story "Hazard" to the critique queue. I've restarted my work editing the Help Haiti ebooks (no, I really have not forgotten that project), which will also serve to reacquaint me with the small details of the Felakverse so that I can--wonder of wonders--go back to writing some Silmfic. I have ideas out the wazoo for original fiction stories too: several short stories and two novels. This doesn't even begin to touch on the illuminations--medieval and modern--that are in need of completion.

It's a relief, to be sure. I've been noticing that the dysthymic swings have been getting deeper and longer lately. I don't know that it's correlated with the forced non-creativity (it could equally be the perpetual state of exhaustion I've been in since about February, or something else entirely), but I've been feeling pretty good these last few days. It does make me wonder.



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/269696.html
  • I sincerely hope you get to be creative for a few months. I've got the inspiration, I freeze when it comes to the act of actually typing the words up.

    I need more peace and quiet I tell myself. I can't get past needing a warm up time and then wanting a few hours to work. I can't seem to use tiny globules of time.
    • I couldn't work in a noisy living space either. Thank goodness the House of Felagund, most evenings, progresses right as it is now: I retreat to the study upstairs, Bobby retreats to the library in the basement, and we pursue our own independent whatnots until 10 PM, when we meet back up for ... well, tonight a movie. I get annoyed if one of the Goldens has to go out because they'll come in and pant on me till I let them. Sometimes a stinkbug flies into my head, which is also annoying. That's the extent of my distractions.

      I work better in long stretches too. I can work in globules, but by the time I really get warmed up, it's time to quit, and that's never fun.
  • Prequel to AMC, yay! Sequel to AMC, yay!
    Two novels?! Wow!
    Well, that's really good news.
    • Yeah, I don't know how to do things small! :D It's going to reach a point where I'm going to have to settle on one or two projects or chance finishing nothing. (That happens a lot, I'm sorry to say ...)
  • Silmfics! Prequels! Sequels! Pointy-eared guys! Marvelous news!
  • I don't think you could have said anything that made me happier than your musing over pre- and se- quels to AMC. I can hardly wait!!!

    - Erulisse (one L)
    of course, that's how we got to know each other - my questions to you about AMC. Happy, happy....
    • Okay, you get cute!puppy!Alex for that comment! :D I'm excited about it too. I was worried that I might not ever feel inspired to write like I did when I wrote AMC. (I'm not quite there yet but, heck, after these past few years, will take what I can get! :D)

      of course, that's how we got to know each other - my questions to you about AMC.

      I think that's how I got to know at least 50 percent of my online friends! I feel slightly embarrassed when I read AMC now because I can do much better now, but dang, talk about a life-changing story in so many ways! I wouldn't take a bit of it back.
      • Awwwww, cute!puppy!Alex is a doll.

        Although I have no doubt you could write AMC better now, the vision was so well done and the images and personalities so well fleshed out, they still feature prominently in my overall viewpoints of these characters. And since the Feanorians are my favorite characters of Tolkien, I can't help but be happy with your possibilities. And of course, Helyanwe is deliriously happy because you would be writing about her family - those dearest to her. So all is good :-)

        - Erulisse (one L)
  • I've been feeling the same way, Dawn. Ever since I've written web content, I've never been able to write something creative. I wonder if the job f*s our creative brain. LOL.

    I've made a promise to write a free original fiction and it's due 21st of June but I haven't written a word. AGHH....

    Anyway, I'm looking forward for your fic! :D
    • My sister--who also does freelance work--has told me that she also has trouble being creative and freelancing at the same time. For me, they're completely separate. Schoolwork is the same way: I can write a 20-page term paper and still want to write creatively.

      Good luck on your story! Any start yet? *hopes*
      • 500 words.. sigh.... and the words are so matter of fact! I miss my flowery language. It seems that the web content has killed that part of my brain.

        When I finish it I'll let you know! :)
  • I once accidentally trained myself to become creatively inspired by the smell of the rubber mats at ice rinks (that isn't as random as it sounds,

    I'd love to know how you did that. Perhaps I could make a cue like that for myself...

    I used to could write through anything. I composed a good deal of my second fic in my head at a hockey game... now I find myself having to have alone time, and even then am very easily distracted by all the other things I can do on my computer. And trying to write by hand often degenerates into doodling... *sigh*

    • The first year I did NaNoWriMo, my husband was also playing for a hockey team at a rink about an hour away. Since adult hockey leagues never get good ice time (and adult hockey leagues indulge in quite a bit of drinking in the parking lot after games!) it worried me to let him drive home alone late at night while he was tired. Also, if I went with him and drove home, he could indulge with his friends. :) So during NaNo, I took my laptop and worked in the snack bar area while he played.

      I didn't recognize that anything weird had happened during NaNo, but some months later, when I went back to that rink, the smell of it immediately triggered an intense bout of inspiration, and the same thing would happen every time after. Since smell is the sense most intimately tied to memory, I figure I trained myself to have a Pavlovian response to the smell of ice rink mats! :) I've wanted to try that again, but the challenge would be finding something to smell while writing but at no other time.

      The computer is very distracting to me too when I write. If I want to get anything done, I have to shut the Internet down completely. When I start on my hour of enforced creativity each night, I'm not allowed to have the Internet up except for Dictionary.com.
  • Pointy-eared muses are sneaky and kind of unpredictable, but I miss them when they're gone. Good that they've come back to you :D I perceive a lot of good read here and there.
    • I hope so! :D I'm looking forward to getting started writing again (as usual, I'm dealing with other things right now, like editing AMC for ebooks, the SWG gallery, yaddayaddayadda ...)
  • WOO HOO! You mentioned an AMC prequel in our bee discussion, which was already awesome, and to hear that there's going to be a sequel too... can I just say SQUEE? ^^

    Also congrats on the decision to focus on creativity this summer - and on getting your muses back! I'm still feeling kind of blah about writing and painting, which is rather stupid because there were so many things I wanted to do during the exam period - and now that I'm free to do them, somehow the motivation is all gone. I bet it'll come back once the baby is born and demanding non-stop attention :P
    • Of course it will! Isn't that how muses work? They have no respect for what's convenient for you!

      I'd actually intended AMC to be one story in many, from at least Nerdanel and Feanor's romance all the way to Maedhros taking the leap. It might take me my whole life to write them all, but I have parts of many of them plotted out in my head! :)
  • Whoooohooooo! Muse nibblings! Be glad that they don't share their insistent ideas just before you fall asleep. Or when you're reading a book, they pounce you and shout: that animal, you know what would work, it will work oh come on come on come on? (long story, but it had my proof-reader nearly sprewing her coffee over her monitor)

    I very muchly like how they pop up with you *glares at her muses, look at those polite ones, they had to wait too, can't you be as gentle with me as they are with her?*

    I am wishing you many happy writing hours in your season Dawn :D I had an idea that I will drop at the comm when I have a quiet surroundings here, which is... like almost never. *sighs*
    • Mine like to torment me at bedtime too! I had insomnia for many years as a young adult, which I discovered later was because I couldn't stop thinking about stories. I learned to write them down in order to sleep.

      I think mine left me alone during school mostly because I was so tired I couldn't think about stories!
  • In my case, I fear my current non-creativity is entirely to blame on the fact of me being a lazy little git. I was hoping it would get better once I'm having a regular job, but it appears that once I'm home from the museum I want to sit on my bed and watch Germany's Next Top Model. Or similar stupid stuff, that is. The muses (or that one muse?) never disappeared and I'm quite certain they never will... they're all in my head, getting on my nerves in irregular interims. I'm just too lethargic to write down anything they say. Though I should. Some of my stories could really need a bit of re-working, I'd say.

    Anyway, I'd love to read something new by you. But don't feel obliged. ;P
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