Sunday, 8 November 2009

The Muse is messing with my head again

I have two problems with my writing: over-confidence and lack of it.

It works with my underlying mood. There are times I'm on top of it all, cock o' the heap; I'm focused, I see clearly what needs to be done, I write as the words come to me. I play with the text, I experiment, it feels like I'm painting emotions and experiences with words. Sometimes when I read back through what I've done, I can't believe it was me that set it down. Really, I have no idea how I could have conceived it that way. Then there are the other times I question everything; I make false starts and lose confidence in what I am trying to say and how. Over and over again, different failed ideas die as I try to put them down, like lifeless insects spread across the page. I can't sleep properly, worrying that I'm going round in pointless circles. Any excuse interrupts the work; children, traffic, the weather all are blamed for my inability to concentrate. Criticism is doom; I'm self-conscious about everything, and nothing is worthy.

This isn't writer's block; the one comfort I can take when my mind turns listless, is that my muse is busier than ever. All those false starts are simply the seeds of new ideas. Embryonic creations to be mulled over by my subconscious for a few weeks or months, before they can be brought to term, to be born from my eager fingers in one of my cyclic periods of productivity.

I have learn to accept that this is the way I work, but I love hating it and hate myself for loving it. The sickening tedium of sustained dissatisfaction in exquisitely hideous contrast to the intensity of my over-stimulated brain, tearing me apart, leaving me hurt, exhausted, and craving more.

My muse may be good but she is not kind.

1 comment:

  1. This is good writing, as usual, Simon. I really envy your facility with words.


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