Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Blank Page

Where to begin? As a writer do you ever feel like you know how to write a story, or is it the first time every time?

I always feel a kind of jittery tension under my skin when I haven't written for a couple of days. This artistic angst - creativity that needs to go somewhere - keeps pestering me until I put some words down on paper. The very talented author Shannon Hale (Austenland) expresses it best on her blog ( when she writes:

"And I know that when I’m not writing, I’m not happy, and the unwritten stories start to haunt me and tug on my sleeves and demand words on a page, and I cease to be the functioning kind of sane and start swatting at invisible characters. Mamas need our creative output, too. My finger painting is books."

After finishing a poem or short story, I will think to myself, "There - I have cracked the code. I know what I'm doing now." And then the shiny surface fades from the newness of success, and I am left there with a new project calling out for a source of help. Assistance always arrives, after much hair pulling and web surfing procrastination on my part, while also munching on Big Wheat Thins (Not the regular ones. You have to buy the Big ones because they are crunchier and will distract you even more from your writer's quandry). A scene will appear, or a phrase will repeat itself over and over again in my head sometimes when I am taking a shower. I will quickly dry off and write down the gist of things on a notepad by my bed. Sometimes a character will take me by the hand and point me in the right direction. "No, over here. You're going the wrong way! This is my story. Now write it!" Noisy, demanding, little tykes these characters are, aren't they? Like something out of Gulliver's Travels, these Lilliputians have a will of their own. But I graciously accept their help, as they spin yarns and offer up inspiring pearls of wisdom.

Enough said, the little people have spoken. Time for a new story ...

June 28, 2007

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