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Inspirational Reads

Writer's Amnesia Sucks

February 7, 2010

I've been kind of stuck on the writing thing lately. I put it aside because I had a case of writer's...ennui? Everything I would write I didn't like; it sounded childish and bland, and if I'm going to write a book, goddammit, every word is going to fit together. I realize that I should just toughen up and push through it (I've had these fits in the past), and that just pushing through helps.

But then I did the blog move and relaunch thing, and that just sort of slowed me down more. I had a convenient excuse, right? Right. We'll leave it at that.

But, I'm on the very cusp of getting into the meat of a good Greek legend: fighting monsters, chatting things up with Gods, rescuing and the subsequent bedding of maidens. This should be exciting times for our young hero and the guy who is guiding him around the Ancient World, right? Right!

And yet, I'm still trying my best to just churn along.

That's when I was hit with some brilliance the other night. The muse (or muses) opened my eyes on a very brilliant turn of phrase that would help propel my hero forward, all but blindly accepting the impossible task, and really putting the hook in the story that I've been seeking for some time.

Unfortunately, my muse apparently only comes around after midnight. I kind of feel like that Offspring song. I may be dumb and all, but I'm tired of my muse playing me for a sucker with low self-esteem.

Damn, she knows me too well.

Anyway, inspiration struck after I had tucked myself into bed. Usually, I spend a good thirty minutes either staring off into the dark or staring at the one glowing green star on the ceiling above me, pondering the ways and wonders of the world--this one and any world included in the book I'm reading and/or writing. As it was, I was staring in the direction of the wall that my bedroom shares with the bathroom, when this brilliant turn of phrase hit me.

"Fuck me, that's brilliant!" echoed inside my skull--there's lots of room in there for ample rebounding of sounds. "Oh, how will I remember that? I should write it down!"

Then I decided that it was too much work to find the pen and paper. Plus, I didn't want to bother with turning on the light. I, uh, didn't want to disturb my wife. Built in excuse, right? Right!

"I'll commit it to memory!" I said rather than do the smart thing. "I'll remember it in the morning!"

Surprisingly, I managed to remember it in the morning. And throughout the day. All that time, surrounded by many sheets of paper and writing utensils, and I did not write down my idea. Hell, why would I? I've remembered it this far.

Then, last night, when I was coming upon the scene where I could use that which the muse had gifted me with...I completely forgot it. I remember it had something to do with the hero's mother...and that's about it. It was enough to piss him off sufficiently that he'd let his emotions get the better of him (he's pretty even-keeled, despite his inner emotional know, like he's Greek or something...), but I cannot remember exactly what I wanted to say. Curses!

Despite my best effots and good intentions to remember what it was I had dreamed up, I've been struck with a powerful case of Writer's Amnesia: I had a good idea, but I forgot it. I'm still plodding forward, though I don't remember what it is I wanted to write, no matter how hard I wrack my brains.

*sigh* The muse giveth and the muse taketh away, I suppose.

31615 / 100000 words. 32% done!


Elliott said...

I hate when I forget those brilliant tidbits, things I desperately want to remember until I can use them.

Best of luck.

Scope said...

Was he called the son of a motherless goat?

Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries?

Just trying to help you remember who had enough GAUL to TAUNT your hero.

That Baldy Fella said...

You have my sympathies, I suffer from this all the time. At least, I think I do. What were we talking about again?

Chaka said...

I am impressed that you remembered your thought without writing it down. I always forget when I try that. Your new blog looks great. (I didn't think there was a problem with the old one either)

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

There is nothing more frustrating than losing ideas.

This happened to me a few weeks back, and I was about as pissed about that as I am about the Colts just losing the Superbowl.

Junket said...

Nice to see a photo of your "Mewes". Intended or not...twas good stuff!

Bev said...

You tempted fate by not writing it down in the AM when it was still fresh. Those a-hole muses are very fickle, I've found.

This is why I keep paper and pens in my nightside table!

words...words...words... said...

I was so impressed when you remembered your idea in the morning! But yes, you did tempt fate by not writing it down at that point. You won a fortune on roulette and then in the heady rush that ensues, you let your winnings ride.

Still, you did better than me. I'm pretty sure I've forgotten a bunch of awesome ideas. And despite my track record, I still don't write them down.

Nej said...

You remembered it for that long, and didn't write it down? I agree, it might be a SMIDGE pushing the boundaries of the muse's patience.

Just sayin'. :-)

One green glowing star? Just one??