In addition to this blog, I’ve been doing some other writing lately. Working on a project that is in a new format for me, but one I’m really enjoying as well. And writer’s block has periodically reared its odd little head. Fortunately it’s not been for long. But it reminds me in a different sort of way, how something can seem impossible only until it happens. When the ideas are flowing freely, it can seem like the typing fingers just can’t keep up. Typos are sometimes let go (temporarily) in an attempt to try get everything down as quickly as possible. Perhaps if I were a more proficient typist this wouldn’t be the case. But as it is, when I do try to type accurately as I go, the backspace key is and always has been, my dearest keyboard friend. Happy to oblige me as the too often mistyped words flow.
But there are other times when the muse seems mute. Is mute in fact. When I can sit and stare at a blank or partially covered screen and see absolutely nothing. At those times, feeling inspired to write again becomes what seems impossible. A complete switch from before when the ideas didn’t seem stoppable. The great thing is however, that no matter how remote and unlikely the impossible may seem at the time, experience and inductive reasoning tells us it will return. The it that is both being full, and void of ideas, will return. Just as the sun comes up every morning, that creative pendulum just keeps swinging back and forth. Field of Dreams‘ “Build it and they will come” has seen many incarnations. For me, one of them should be, “Relax, and the ideas will come.”
There was a time I wrote best with pen in hand, and paper on the table. Or with a humble little notebook jotting down thoughts here and there. The notebook still exists. It can be invaluable when random thoughts occur. I suppose I could use a portable digital device. But maybe it’s nostalgia for ink on paper, or maybe it’s just if I’m bad at typing on a regular keyboard, you don’t want to imagine how bad I’d be on a tiny little portable version. But that said, I think I now write best with my hands resting comfortably on the home position of the keyboard. (Home position is about the only thing I learned from my one day in typing class years ago. I registered late and got bumped from the class.)
After years of writing digitally now, I’m very much at home in that home position, waiting for the thoughts to arrive. If there’s a pause in the thoughts, my hands simply rest there while I gaze off into space. Relaxed and confident the ideas will return. And when they do, my fingers are at the ready to start pressing those keys.