It comes to me in fits and starts, at first. Flashes of a scene; bits of errant dialogue; a character’s face, even if the features are still a bit fuzzy around the edges.
My desk fills with bits of scrap paper and post-its: names, places, plot points.
I find myself experimenting with conversations in the shower, talking out loud as I flesh out who these characters will be, and what their histories have been.
It’s not a book, or a blog, or a short story yet. It’s all abstract. Ideas. Snippets. A sky in shades of blue, an oak tree dripping with Spanish moss, a creaky front porch with a screen door falling off its hinges. A woman with a painful past coming home to lick her wounds, to find herself amidst the overgrown hydrangeas and too-tall crab grass of her home town.
Will it turn into another novel? I don’t know. Maybe.
But for now, my creativity begins to spill out again. I relish it; I close my eyes and let my mind wander as the story sews itself together. Something deep inside begins to glow again, and I wrap my hands around it, warming my hands on the hope of something shiny and new.
Yes, it’s true, I haven’t written anything in quite a while. Quite a LONG while. But that doesn’t take away from who I am, at my core. I am a writer, a creator. I am a weaver of words and a chronicler of stories.
I may have taken a sabbatical from the thing that I love most, but it doesn’t make me any less of a writer–despite what Pinterest and Twitter and other writers might say.
“Writers write!,” they proclaim. “Even without inspiration a writer should be honing her craft, without fail!” Their vehemence sends me cowering. And that’s no mind frame for healthy creative thinking. At least not for me.
For me, when inspiration wanes, and creativity wanders, I need to “refill the well.” And so I spent my summer reading, observing, experiencing. Living. Scrubbing all the cobwebs away from the recesses of my brain. And as the weather begins to change, and the rain patters softly on my window, I find the desire to write is slowly returning. For that, I am thankful. For that, I am excited. I am no longer cowering.
And so, a new project begins.