Monday, July 13, 2009

Observations: Writing In The Void

I've mentioned a couple of times that I am encountering some basic writers block. It is not that I am not writing. It is more that I am not satisfied with what I have been writing, either in terms of quantity or quality. I had mentioned it the other night in my circle of friends. I had said that felt like I was trying to write out of a void. What I meant was that I was sitting down to write, but when I reached into myself to find the story or tale I wanted to tell, I was reaching into a void. The will is there. The time is there. The words are there. The form that those words must take is not. One of them suggested that rather than trying to write OUT of the void, I try writing IN the void. So this is a run at that.

Imagine a formless place…

Inside of it dwell the many parts of our imagination. All of the things we know. All of the things we've experienced. All of the things we've found in the sensual world. They all reside in there. Periodically, a force moves through the void. This force is the will, it is spirit of the imagination. It may be a single muse. It may be many small muses working in concert. They reach into the formless place, they find the things that are stored there, and they start the process of stringing them together. Through the process of creativity they bring the forms of narrative together into poetry and prose.

A thousand, ten thousand, maybe more stories are formed and shaped and queued up to be released into the waking world through the creative power of writing. It is an inexhaustible well of inspiration. We may periodically reach in and pull something out. We may periodically find that the muses have done a very complete job of assembling the objects of our imagination into a cohesive architecture. We may struggle to write a simple sentence, a single paragraph, the most basic of narratives. We may find that the muses have delivered to us splendid garments of whole cloth, entire wardrobes of imagination. It is from this formless place, from this well of imagination, that all of the stories we have told and will tell spring.

If you find yourself temporarily bereft of a coherent narrative, if you find that the stories or poems are not quite there, just relax. Form always flows out of formlessness. The well of the imagination is never empty. Sometimes, what we simply need to do, is find our way into that well and then, simply, sit. Sit and let the strange muses and the ordinary muses do their work. Trust that they are actively assembling something magnificent. Trust that they are building vast cathedrals of splendid materials.

We are simply human. We all go through life together, we all share a common path, we all know the same richness and depth and breadth of life. Our senses each day fill to the brim with the threads of life, awaiting the simple or complex weaves that pull them together. There is stillness inside the void. Rather than struggle against it, simply relax, take a deep breath, and let the muses do their work.

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