• Member Since 27th Jan, 2015
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No Raisin


"Gotta have a little sadness once in a while, so you know when the good times come. I'm waiting on the good times now." - Bob Ross

More Blog Posts11

  • 1 week
    An Original Fiction Contest (in Honor of Our Lord and Savior Corona-chan)

    It's been a few months since I posted horse words on here, but whenever I do post horse words, it's because of my affiliation with the folks at the Writeoff Association. Pretty much every horse fic I've published over the past year was originally a piece I wrote for a Writeoff contest. Sometimes we also have

    Read More

    0 comments · 31 views
  • 13 weeks
    Christmas With The Smiths

    You know me, I like music.

    Preferably human music.

    The Smiths have some pretty great human music.

    So I'll be celebrating Christmas with ten of my favorite singles and B-sides by...

    The Smiths.

    Yeh.

    1. This Charming Man

    2. Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I want

    Read More

    2 comments · 16 views
  • 23 weeks
    Having seen the series finale, all I can say is...

    It's a bad day to be a RariDash fan.

    1 comments · 37 views
  • 26 weeks
    Introducing the First (and Possibly Only) NSFW WriteOff Event

    Looking at my history on this site, it becomes clear that I haven't written much of anything in like a year.

    Except I've actually been writing a lot. Just not on here.

    Read More

    3 comments · 192 views
  • 46 weeks
    Complicated Feelings

    "This great evil. Where does it come from? How'd it steal into the world? What seed, what root did it grow from? Who's doing this? Who's killing us? Robbing us of life and light. Mocking us with the sight of what we might've known. Does our ruin benefit the earth? Does it help the grass to grow, the sun to shine? Is this darkness in you too? Have you passed through this night?"

    Read More

    0 comments · 88 views
Dec
19th
2018

On Inspiration · 8:36pm Dec 19th, 2018

You might've noticed that I haven't uploaded any new stories, or written new chapters to my failed abortion of an HiE "novel." It's okay if you haven't; in fact I've barely been paying attention myself.

Aside from a few rounds at the WriteOff site (great people, by the way), I've basically written nothing since April, and my last horse fic was for a contest that will likely never see a conclusion. Yaaaaaaaay...

I don't know why I don't write more than I do, or at least I don't have a solid answer for it. The simplest, which probably has some truth in it, is laziness. I'm a naturally lazy person. I did well in school, when I was a student and not a dude sending out job applications, but I always waited until the last minute to get my essays done. They turned out well, but I had basically learned to make time combined with stress an equation for success; this sort of thing only really works in school, or if you're already an expert at a certain profession.

Harlan Ellison was many things, including (up until earlier this year) alive, but one of the most subtle and yet profound of his characteristics was that he was an incredibly lazy writer. Not to say his writing itself was lazy; in fact several of his short stories have inspired me, as both a writer and a lover of science fiction. But he would often wait until the night before the deadline, or even on the day of, to craft his stories. It just so happened to work for him, because although Ellison was a notorious asshole, he was also an undeniable genius.

I'm no genius.

At best I have the first inklings of a talented writer, which is basically every supposedly great writer at 23 with a few exceptions. Hell, it's been over a week since my 23rd birthday and so far I've had nothing to show for it, in the days since then. I was going to participate in the latest WriteOff round (not counting the very recent She-Ra round, which I may or may not write something for) but I legitimately did not feel inspired; the prompt didn't conjure any story concepts I had not already thought of.

This leads into what this blog is kind of about, and that's inspiration.

I think my big problem is that, aside from a slice of laziness being tossed into the stew, I lack genuine inspiration. When I use that word, try not to misconstrue it with creativity; I like to think I'm constantly coming up with creative concepts, entire storylines and character arcs. But it's almost like a curse, being creative but not being inspired.

When I refer to inspiration, I'm speaking of the notion of motivation, because I think that's what people really mean when they talk of being inspired, or of something that is inspirational; the thing that is inspirational is actually motivational; it motivates you to act, to create, to push forward, to do something with yourself. You have talents, or skills, right? You have to; I don't know of anyone who seriously lacks a skill or a talent; I know of people who lack creativity, but that's why we have people like producers and executives (and executive producers) in the film industry, because these people are not creative, but they are talented when it comes to business.

Suppose you're a creative person, then. There's a good chance you're not going to feel compelled to make something out of that creativity all the time. Not all of us can be Stephen King or Isaac Asimov (or if you want something more horse-friendly, shortskirtsandexplosions as an obvious example); most of us need some kind of push to realize our creativity. This is not inherently a bad thing, mind you; in fact it's only human if anything. It becomes a problem, though, when you start to feel trapped by a prolonged lack of that certain push.

When I was starting out in early to mid-2017, I often used my then-girlfriend as a muse. Between Feburary and June I pumped out ten stories, which for me is a pretty decent rate of output. I was far less mature a writer at the time, but that didn't matter to me then; it was the first time since around 2015 that I was actually writing horse words and finishing what I started.

As a lesson on the omnipresence of impermanence, though, our relationship ended in August of that year. It was a few days after BronyCon, which we had gone to; it was a fun time, even though most of my fond memories of those wonderful and chaotic days did not involve my former love; she was nowhere to be seen in them, nor, I suspect, was I anywhere to be found in hers. In hindsight it was a perfectly natural consequence of our drifting apart, something that was foreshadowed in my tenth fic, "Birthday Cake," which was autobiographical to a severe degree and which anticipated our breaking up by a couple months.

I was losing connection with my muse, and truth be told, as mentioned with my skills as a writer then, it was in large part due to my immaturity. Sure, I was (and still am) quite young, but that doesn't make a difference when you mistreat the love of your life as I did. I was inspired, and creative, but I lacked the discipline and wisdom to refine what I had in my hands. I can barely look back on anything I've written, even stuff I published earlier this year, because I always view my past self as a horribly inferior version of the present. That borders on being a platitude, because of how common it is for writers (and artists in general) to look back on their past work with distate. At the same time I have so little confidence in myself, in what I'm capable of, that my most recent WriteOff entry was written during a period of particularly strong self-loathing, borne out of the idea that everything I create is disposable. Practically trash.

Granted, this is certainly not the case, taken from a more objective point of view. I'm sure my stories have their merits, but during the act of creating them I am so thoroughly convinced of the contrary that I often cannot finish what I start.

I no longer have a muse. I don't even know what pushed me through those few horse stories I wrote early in the year; truth be told I barely even remember writing them. I don't know how or why I did it. Did I think I was like a bandit, riding on my steed off into the sunset with a bag of cash, the train robbery a roaring success? Did I think I could get away with this crime?

What inspires me to do all this, even to write this blog post at this very moment? I don't even like writing blogs, ever; I don't enjoy writing this, but I feel as though I have to. Not because I have a deadline to meet, but because I feel I have to explain myself.

It all reminds me of another author I greatly admire, who is unfortunately no longer with us as well. William Styron is a name you should all know but probably don't; he wrote two of the best novels of the 1960s and '70s, The Confessions of Nat Turner and Sophie's Choice. But then he stopped. Sure, he would pen Darkness Visible, a novella-length memoir about his battle with depression later in his life, but after Sophie's Choice he would not conceive another novel.

In the last twenty-five years of his life, all he had to show was that little memoir; it's a crucial document for understanding Styron as a writer, not to mention how such a disease as depression can bring down such a successful person, but he never returned to the novel. He was one of the great novelists of the 20th century, and yet, for the last twenty-five years of his life... he was silent.

Depression had a good part in it, most certaintly, and I know of that mother of ennui all too well. Yet you have to wonder as to which came first, the depression or the lack of inspiration. Maybe Styron did not feel inspired because he was depressed; maybe he was depressed because did not feel inspired.

I wish I could ask him.

Report No Raisin · 220 views · Story: Physical Therapy ·
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Comments ( 1 )

...to many complicated thoughts

If you feel like writing, then write
If you feel like stopping, then stop

The good authors publish their works on time following some kind of personal but well defined rules to make a product of the quality that their readers want.
The greatest authors always write first for themselves, some following rules, some other writing while drunk but always writing for themselves because those world's inside of their minds don't let them sleep until they were materialized on paper then the readers can enjoy their work
you don't feel the inspiration so what?
Then go and be lazy, go for a snack, climbing go and assault a bank...
Adquire other Passions you aren't Under any circumstances obligated to write anything

That author of your example probably ended on depression because he couldn't find another bout of inspiration and feel so obligated by his own success that he couldn't find another Passions

If you don't feel like a happy writer then be a happy reader

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