Reflection.

On inspiration, or how to maintain your life-boner and trump creative cockblock?

This morning, in a fit of nostalgia, I lugged the giant [when compared with today’s more common literary width, known as nonexistent] dictionary out from the dust-infested orgy that is my bookshelf, wiped it off with a tissue [which was not merely theatrical, but necessary], and dove in for a much-needed tete-a-tete with some rarely used vernacular. After engaging in verbal bulimia, or more eloquently, a period of intense word-driven inspiration that resulted in a surplus of essays being churned out by me for months, I have reached a dry spell. This hasn’t been for lack of trying, as I wake up almost every day [or fail to sleep every night] racking my brain for something that really stimulates and gets my will-to-write buzzing uncontrollably.

I am not a methodical writer, who neatly pre-plans a piece or goes through it slowly, step by step. People who don’t write for pleasure might find this silly, or hard to believe, but usually a phrase, sentence, or idea just comes to me at random [occasionally after dwelling on the subject in my head] and I am overcome by an amount of adrenaline usually reserved for great sex or winning the lottery. In the midst of this bliss, I lose my appetite and sense of time. It’s like Prozac or Haagen-Dazs [one in the same, really], and not unlike the teaches of Peaches, it tends to [mind] fuck the pains of life away, at least for a while. Not only does it restore some semblance of calm within me, it also replenishes the sense of myself [that opaque territory known as who I am, or what I want to stand for] that starts to fade away when I don’t write.

Though you may be averse to stringing words together, and finding the perfect adjective may not turn you on, you can probably relate to this sensation in the context of some other hobby, passion, or talent. Studies that depict busy people as the cream of the happiness crop are no bullshit—working wards off the scary seduction of (and subsequent insanity that comes with) too much alone time. Writing is solitary, of course, and can feel isolating, but it does take a person away from their most banal, animalistic thought processes, and most importantly (for me, at least) works as a medium to be shared with others. Though borne out of seclusion, it breeds empathy.

So what kindled this dismal, word-weary spell? It’s inexplicable, but much like love, when you seek it out overtly [it being that elusive inspiration], it’s never there. I wouldn’t doubt that it stems from my unfortunately perfectionistic ideals—if a concept doesn’t fit my mental mold just right, it doesn’t seem worth it. So instead I opt for reading the words of others or exploring a dictionary at random, soon finding that the sheer amount of words I’ve never heard of nor used before is thrilling to me in a very atypical way. I jot a few of them down (lumpsucker, eidolon, lumme) to be used sometime later, or perhaps never—but no matter. It comes remarkably close to the ecstasy borne from writing itself, and is similarly enjoyable.

This exercise probably holds little weight with your slightly less lingo-loving heart, but the point is that for every dull moment of un-inspiration, there’s a book, a tune, or an image (perhaps even a titillating new verb?) somewhere nearby ready to remedy that. Sometimes it’s simply a feeling, waiting for you to sculpt it into something else. How many epic songs is heartbreak singlehandedly responsible for? The answer is irrelevant, just deduce that if you spill your shit, you might strike gold. The key is to be voracious—get jazzed about shit without shame. Or take the comfortable, but often more bleak route—never do, try, or taste anything–letting what you surely have to offer fade into the wallpaper of the wider world.

No. Stay engaged. The point is not to make a perfect product (I tell myself, knowing that this thought conglomerate itself is rambling and chaotic…)the point is to produce.

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