I’m sitting in the most expensive hotel room per square foot in Boston, trying to reflect on the day. I’ve spent the last nine hours listening to industry experts talk to me about inspiration, drive and passion, and I’m thinking, where did mine go?
I talk about it all the time, but ten months ago, I wrote the first draft of Distracted in its entirety, in just thirty days. Now, I can’t pick up a pen. Let me be fair. I can pick up a pen, but when I do, nothing flows. No magic happens.
Where did it go?
I’ve spent the last hour dividing my time between Internet searches on the literary greats and the Seahawks game. I’ve exhausted my fingertips with searches on “Master Class with James Patterson”, “how JK Rowling plotted her books”, and “inspiration”. It’s incredibly frustrating when your page is so barren, that you resort to trying to ‘see how others do it’.
It’s incredibly frustrating as a writer when all you want to do is write, but you can’t. Nothing happens. I don’t believe in forcing myself to do something I don’t want to do. I’ll make a half assed attempt and then be pissed at the outcome. No, I’d rather just be inspired- but that’s not working. And, let’s be honest, a bit of a cop out.
Should I be writing in pencil? Should I be in a Starbucks with my MacBook? Or maybe I should lock myself in a cabin for two weeks with no distractions to write?
It’s frustrating that there’s no magic answer, no go to formula. It’s frustrating that I can’t come up with a billion dollar plot idea and execute it flawlessly.
It’s easy to drop the pen and get busy with because life gets in the way. But it’s just as easy to loose the tenuous grip you have on the amazing, but fleeting idea that popped into your head while walking to the kitchen. You know the one – the idea – the feel of which gave you goose bumps and made you smile, made your heartache. You reach for the paper; you find a pen. You’re poised to capture the feeling, and then it’s gone. It slipped away like a leaf in the breeze, and now you’re stuck. You feel lost and confused and hollow.
The feeling the idea created left a void. You can’t tell that story, and that’s what’s so disheartening. You feel like there’s nothing left.