The jocular tone of my previous post masked a deeper unease.
For some reason, I’m finding it increasingly hard to write at any length. It feels as if joining up ideas has become, well, unfashionable. Old hat. Yesterday’s news.
Today it’s all about soundbites, slogans, headlines, jingles, tweets – short stuff that can be repeated over and over until it sounds like something you’ve thought up yourself. It’s rather like being in some great big whispering gallery.
As social animals, we are attuned to voices. And our natural instinct is to be loyal to others. When their voices become fragmented, our own inner voices break out in sympathy.
According to The Writer’s Idea Book by Jack Heffron, seven inner voices are the enemies of creativity:
- the procrastinator says later
- the victim asks why me?
- the talker dissipates the urge
- the critic makes us nervous
- the judge deems the act unworthy
- the author is obsessed with reception
- the capricious guest is inspiration
As for me, I’m going to start tomorrow – if the noisy numbskulls around here will let me – and what I write is going to be the life-changing story of absolutely everything unless of course it’s been done many times before by better writers than me, there isn’t something more useful I could be doing and there isn’t a chance in hell anybody might want to read it even supposing that damned elusive muse condescends to pay me a flying visit …
Oh well, while I’m waiting, perhaps I’ll stick to the short stuff. If you can’t beat ’em join ’em, eh?
Regular readers will know that I’m fond of keeping it short. Acrostic poems, haiku, 100 word stories – all of them over, almost, before they’ve begun!
Blink and you’ll miss them. But I like the idea that you can capture a whole world in a small space. And focussing on technical constraints like word and syllable counts can stop you stressing about content.
How not what.
Them wide open spaces give me the heebie-jeebies. Not enough cover. Too easy for them to pick you off.
Unless, of course, you go by train …
The Whitsun Weddings