The Muse Eludes


Physically, there are a lot of good things happening for me right now.  I’m losing weight, and sticking to the plan, and actually feeling good about it.  I could definitely stand some more exercise — okay, let’s be honest and take the “more” out of there — but, barring some unseen terminal illness churning away inside me, the old carcass is doing pretty well.

Mentally though, that’s a different story.  I’m not depressed or sad or filled with uncontrolled rage; we’re nowhere close to football season yet.  And while the usual work nuisances cause their fair share of stress, I’ve got plenty of outlets for that with my various game nights and such.  No, it’s more a sort of frustration, both with myself and my circumstances, over this nagging lack of inspiration.  I don’t feel the desire to write anything.

The ideas are still there.  It’s just the part where I filter them down through my fingers and onto the screen that’s not working out so hot.  Some of it is feeling like there’s no time.  I used to be able to steal a few minutes at work here and there.  Even if I couldn’t finish something, I could usually crack an idea, set myself off in a direction, get a few clever lines down, something.  But now work is nearly wall-to-wall, well, work.  And that bleeds over into when I get home; the brain gets turned off and the last thing I feel like doing is expending more energy into a keyboard.  When I do, it feels like more work.

There’s also that old familiar impatience.  I want the story done now.  I don’t want to have to go through the struggle of actually writing it, I just want it to be finished, to spill it right from my brain to the page in the way I envision it, without all that messy mucking about with words and grammar.  I’m Veruca Salt with prose instead of giant goose eggs.

And I have to admit, as much as I enjoy keeping up with this blog, the time and effort that often goes into thinking of what to write about and actually writing about it sometimes saps my enthusiasm to do any more writing that day. This started as a way to keep the mental muscles limber, but there are moments when it feels like an obligation. Like work.  And then I’m back in that head space where I want to not think about anything, I just want to read websites and run my Pandaren around Azeroth.

My muse has wandered before, but the difference now is I find myself wondering if I miss it.  Expending 400-odd words on the subject means I probably still do.  I guess it’s just a matter of how hard I should look for it.  And whether it will prove more elusive the harder I search.  Inspiration, like love, usually shows up when you least expect it.  And I don’t think I could expect it any less right now.

Or this could just be doldrums-powered hyperbole.  Which is a kind of fiction.  So I’ve got that going for me, at least.

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