Creative Writing

Hearing Voices…

A couple of rather special things have happened this week.

Firstly after well over a year, all four of my stubbornly dormant orchids have decided to start growing and are pushing up flower spikes like Triffids.   I am very happy about that indeed.

The second had to do with my writing.

Normally when people start hearing voices in their heads it is cause for concern, for me however, the return of the voices has come as a monumental relief.

The characters in a novel I wrote nearly three years ago—a novel which has been languishing as a door-stop—have finally…finally started speaking again.  That they have presented me with the resolution of the issues which caused them to shut up in the first place due to a particularly nasty sag in the story towards the end of the second act. Naturally they have chosen their moment at the most inconvenient time when I am up against a variety of other deadlines and work pressures but I am more than happy to drop everything and listen.

It looks like a complete rewrite is going to be necessary rather than a tidying up of the third draft, which was as far as it had progressed before being unceremoniously dumped on my self-generated slush-pile. Never have I been so excited about the prospect of a re-write.

I can’t say that I’ve been blocked for the last couple of years since I have been writing, but my output has achieved nowhere near the scale or success which I had previously experienced.  Much of that has to do with a huge workload in my professional life however I have suffered long periods of doubt and discouragement to the extent that I was on the verge of giving up all together.  I considered it a largely related to having spent too long out of the saddle, so to speak.  On that basis it should have been relatively easy just to climb back in and get on with it.  Well it didn’t work like that at all and no amount of trying to climb back in has really lifted the fog obscuring my creativity.

In the past my stories have found their inspiration from just about anywhere you care to mention, some mundane and every day, some a little on the weird and wacky side. Some of my better work has combined the two but I have never considered myself to have a Muse, particularly since I have always dismissed the notion as ancient myth.  I know, I know, if the Muses were good enough for Homer, Chaucer and Shakespeare who am I to make such a statement?

So what if there is something to it after all? What if a ‘Muse’ could come from anywhere, not just the ancient grouping of Calliope, Thalia, Melpomene and their pals? What if a Muse could be a person or perhaps an animal rooted in the here and now. Could it be a place, maybe even something completely inanimate? What if, the Muse isn’t always the same thing, could it be interchangeable?  Isn’t the Muse simply the source of  inspiration, something which encourages me to be me, to speak with my voice and even source of strength from which to draw? What if I had a Muse all along and just didn’t recognise it because the fog was too thick? What if I had to wait for the Muse, in whatever its form, to reveal itself?

Or could it be far less arcane? Could it be as simple as having good things happen in other areas of our lives, causing our little dopamine receptors get super happy and lift the darkness from our minds and hearts?

I have absolutely no idea but right now I am reveling in the din of the voices in my head.

Categories: Creative Writing, Creativity

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