the beast called inspiration and its cousin, the fickle muse

I don’t know if any of my fellow writers are like this, but I find that my inspiration to write (and also to read) springs itself upon me at the most random of times.

I can spend hours staring at a Word document and feel as if I’m physically and mentally incapable of producing anything even remotely close to belonging to the English language. I can sit down with an empty notebook, trying to plot a novel, short story, or just write anything, anything that might resemble a piece of prose, and fall short. On most of these occasions, the notes and scribbles I conjure are meaningless nonsense that I soon forget. On rare occasions, I write something down that really stands out and I end up using it for something more substantial.

And then, there are the random moments when inspiration just hits me. Yes, literally, it just smashes me in the face like a hammer. Okay, not quite literally.

There are two places where story ideas just appear like uninvited guests to a party: when I’m laying in bed trying to sleep at night, and when I’m laying in the bath. Interesting that there’s a theme there. Perhaps I should just stay lying down forever, then maybe I’ll be a productive human.

When I’m laying in bed and ideas assault me from all angles (and that’s a good way of describing it, as often the ideas are battle scenes), I try to ignore them and push them out of my head, as I’m invariably so tired I’ve stopped caring about my aspirations to be an author. And then, of course, I’ve forgotten about them when I wake up the next day. Not a very good practice I’ve got going on, is it? If I was to turn the light on and write the ideas down, however, I would literally never sleep. Ever.

The bath phenomenon is a much more welcome one. I invariably bring a book to the bath (don’t worry, I don’t bathe the book) but I rarely pick it up once I’m in the bath, as the ideas monster/ musey mcmuseface/ inspiration fairy makes its presence known to me, and I have to pick up my phone and start typing down all the ideas it provides me with.

So, in conclusion, I have decided that I will just lay in the bath forever and write from here. Goodbye cruel world that exists outside of the bath, it wasn’t nice knowing you.

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