Imagination Dogs

Seth Godin stepped on my toes last week. Talker’s Block. Go read that link right now.Ouch.

I know he’s undoubtedly onto something here- I’ve been doing Morning Pages for 2 months now, 3 pages every freakin’ day before I even get dressed, and I have to say that I’m already getting into a groove and not getting stuck like I was. Not that it’s easy most days. I can think of 150 things to do with that 30-45 minutes while I sit there, it takes stubbornness to keep my butt in the chair. It’s worth it though, so very worth it.I have been thinking about writer’s block a lot lately because I have a lot to say but when  I  go to say it nothing happens, I leave with a blank screen. Short stories stay in my head because I can’t seem to get them onto the page, nothing sounds right. I’ve heard the advice to just write, whatever. I’ll claim to do that but I don’t really- the voice in my head is tricky and it says, “I’ll pretend this is free flowing but secretly I’ll plan it so it’s witty and fun when it comes out”. Which never works. Improv has started calling me on that game. I can try to be smart and plan things out while I stand on the sides, but as soon as I step onto the stage the person I’m working with will fail to receive my telepathic signals that I have this great trash truck idea all worked out and will start yelling for me to rescue his hamster out from between the couch cushions. Busted, and now scrambling to catch-up.

I am attempting to switch that over into my writing and it works both beautifully and terribly. Terribly because it’s some of the worst writing I’ve ever done. Beautifully because it’s by far the best writing I’ve ever done.

Apparently good writing is like having these little imagination dogs living in my head. I feed them ideas and books and adventures and then they produce writing and leave little piles of it scattered around in my mind for me to put down on paper. Piles of imagination dog crap, with itty bitty gold flakes mixed in. The more crap I collect, and write down, the more gold flakes I get; but also the more crap I have to write down and then deal with. That’s one reason I now have a pile of legal pads by my desk, pages filled with inane ramblings and disjointed, repetitive thoughts. Getting out the crap.

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