Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The moment of decision

You’re lying in bed in the morning. You know you should get up, but yet you don’t. Maybe your mind wanders. And then all of a sudden, you’re getting up — without really having made a conscious decision to do it. How did that happen? Why did it happen?

I don’t know about anyone else, but those sorts of things also occur when I’m writing. I suppose that most would call it inspiration, but is it? I think a lot first before I write something. This usually involves accompanying this with something else walking, cooking, practising, something other than writing. Somewhere, though, while I’m not really paying attention, decisions seem to be made, seemingly behind my back. It’s as if my story suddenly grows another arm. Maybe an idea had crossed my mind but I hadn’t made a conscious decision to make use of it. Then it’s there. It seems to be firmly part of the story. I’ve even caught myself writing things and wondering, “Where the heck did that come from?”

It’s weird and sort of frightening, like the first time you catch yourself having conversations with the “made-up friends” in your stories. I know I’m not the only one who goes through this, so I know I’m not going insane or anything.

So recently (Sunday morning) to be exact, I was lying in bed thinking about this conundrum, and also wondering when I should force myself out of my nice warm bed. Next thing I knew I was on my feet. Eureka! Maybe it’s the same thing going on. Over the course of the past two days, I’ve caught myself doing things that I hadn’t really made a conscious decision to do.

Maybe I’ve come up with a very useful writing technique: don’t write!

One last thing... One of my passions in life is baseball, always has been since I was a young 'un. For years my wife and I played competitive fast-pitch softball. I've kept in touch with some of our teammates, and it was decided to launch a very iconoclastic baseball blog. First posting is today with the historian of the group, Will Braund, batting lead-off. He's come up with a fascinating profile on baseball great, Ted Williams. Please drop on be our virtual ballpark where the beer is always cold and the salted peanuts freshly roasted: http://lateinnings.blogspot.com/


Donis Casey said...

It seems to me that ideas come in when you get out of their way

Rick Blechta said...

My point exactly.

It's a very Zen way of working.