What writing feels like

I have the best ideas for posts while trapped in the car for the commute to or from work. I started thinking about how it feels to search for that idea, to drag that scene from the uncharted depths of my brain. I read somewhere once that family members of a writer shouldn’t be alarmed by the tendency of writer in their care to stare off into space for long stretches of time. Caretakers of writers are reassured that this is all part of the creative process.

I couldn’t agree more.

When I feel an idea tickling the edges of my consciousness, I find myself staring at some distant point, but I don’t see what is in front of my eyes. What I’m seeing is the image of that idea, recalled dream fragment, *name your intangible thought process here*. The best way I can describe it to someone who doesn’t think this way (and may potentially see me as somewhat impaired by my writing process) is groping through thick fog. You know something is there, you may even catch a glimpse of it, but it’s not showing up with any great clarity. Trying to find something in muddy water is another good analogy.

Or imagine being in a pitch-dark room, groping for an electrical outlet, with a lamp in your hand. You may not find that outlet, but you might bark your shins on the furniture. You may hear voices from another room or feel a breeze but have no way of finding its source. Or you find the receptacle but the lamp plug doesn’t fit. But when you find that power source and get that lamp working, wow… You can see the furniture, the paintings on the walls and, best of all, the doors and windows into other rooms. That’s when you know you’ve got something.

Pass me that lamp, willya?


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