Inspiration underload

There are days when words flow like wine, ideas are like buses and the air is pregnant with inspiration. In contrast, there are days when the very process of sentence construction feels like the literary equivalent of wading through quicksand, and brain activity is so non-existent a doctor might well switch off the monitor were it not for the fact of the walking and talking aspects of the person still being intact. On those latter days of which I speak, the air is no so much pregnant with inspiration as thick with the cloying unease of guilt, one of the less conducive emotions to successful writing endeavours.

Today, you may already have guessed, is one of those days, in part because I’ve once again lacked the discipline to work to office hours – having spent the morning running and procrastinating before a friend popped over for lunch and we both spent a considerable portion of the afternoon nattering and sunbathing. Though, in my defence, she is a very old friend whom I have not seen in a very long time – and in part because I’ve just not been feeling the inspiration in the way I did last week. You could argue that I’ve hardly given myself the chance to find inspiration in the first place, having spent less than two hours actually sitting at my desk today, and your argument would indeed be valid. But I would nonetheless pig-headedly argue that sometimes days like this are required in order to find inspiration again. And also that spending time with friends and in the sunshine is beneficial to one’s health, if not one’s bank account or future as a celebrated author.

I’m going to blame the heat, though as I type these words I am mentally flagellating myself for making so many excuses for something that, as my inner critic is telling me at this very moment, is really very simple: If you want to be a writer, the voice says, pull up a chair, switch on your laptop, switch off your phone, switch off the internet, sit down, and write. Write until your fingers go numb, until it has got dark outside and you hadn’t even noticed. Write until every last seed of an idea has tumbled from your brain onto the page and taken root. Write as if your life depended on it. Just write. Because isn’t that what you profess to want to do? I have to admit the voice has got a point. Perhaps I’ll be more productive once the heat wave has abated…

Thinking about it, maybe best that I don't live in a hot country after all...

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