Yesterday, I sat at the computer all morning, ready to write. I have a time line here. It’s summer vacation, and it ends in six weeks. I need to write . . . NOW! I have goals! My muses don’t seem to be getting my sense of urgency as they failed to bless me with their presence for the third day in a row. Apparently they don’t like to be ordered around.
I felt abandoned, so I tried a few different strategies: I grabbed a favorite book off the shelf and opened it to a random page, reading great writing for inspiration . . . nothing.
I read a few blogs on writing . . . nothing.
I got on you tube and watched some videos of a fiddler since there’s one in the scene I’m writing . . . nothing.
I kept going and standing in front of the refrigerator. I wasn’t hungry, but thought that feeding my stomach would possibly feed some ideas into my head . . . nothing, other than to make my ass a little bit cushier when I sit down to write.
Finally, I forced myself to write half the fiddling scene until I gave up and left my computer for my sewing machine.
Maybe stitching a few blocks would inspire me. I pulled some blocks off my design wall and began to put them together. I was chain piecing them and at the end of each row instead of pulling the blocks out and snipping the thread, I grabbed two random scraps from my scrap bucket, sewed them together and then clipped the blocks off to press. A friend showed me this technique to save thread. Ultimately, you get enough pieces of scraps sewn together, and you have a whole new piece of “scrap” fabric, and maybe a teeny tiny dent in the scrap bucket.
Soon, my blocks were pushed aside, and I found myself surrounded with piles of scraps – the ironing board, the floor, my sewing table, all were covered with little pieces that were growing into bigger pieces.
I had a ball. It was creative, fun, and probably most important, not forced. I wasn’t planning on spending three hours making new scrap fabric, but I did. I completely lost track of time. I didn’t realize how much I needed to just play. My muses are back this morning; apparently they like to play too.
If I demand they show up, they laugh at me and go their own merry way, off to play without me, leaving me to figure out, yet again, that I can’t force creativity. I need to honor the process.