Yeah, the above photo sums up my state of mind for the past month.
Not long after posting the April IWSG response, the burnout came crashing down and my mental capacity was reduced to little more than spasmodically responding to immediate stimuli. Fortunately, in my day job I am a programmer. Programming, when you boil it down to the essentials, is really about creating specific responses to specific stimuli. We call it “input”, but why split hairs?
Therefore my entire creative output for National Poetry Month came to maybe five poems, out of which at most one shows any promise. But I did become even more sleep deprived, which is a victory of sorts.
The May 2023 Insecure Writer’s Support Group question is: When you are working on a story, what inspires you?
This is a surprisingly difficult question to answer, as inspiration could change from story to story, or even from scene to scene within a story. So it might be more useful for me to answer that at a deeper level – what inspires me to be creative? And I think the answer to that is, the drive to create something which is ideally beautiful, hopefully internally consistent, and which effectively communicates the original multidimensional idea behind the story.
As I move well into middle age, and look back over the scores of stories and hundreds of poems in my portfolio, I think everything I have written is a facet of the same stone, and I am polishing that facet and presenting it to my readers and saying “Do you see?” And whether the answer is “yes” or “no,” I use that response as inspiration to hone my craft and try to communicate that idea through another facet, be it a novel, a short story, a poem, fantasy, science fiction, literary fiction, a game, or a scribbled note in the margins of an old Dungeons and Dragons character sheet.
At the beginning each of my creative works is inspired by asking “what if?”
As I near the end of the process, the inspiration may mutate into desperation because I just want to be able to write THE END without, you know, skipping to THE END.
As a final note, I want to thank the IWSG community for accepting me into their ranks. I have been participating for just over two years, and writing these posts, and reading the other answers to the monthly questions, help keep me focused and, frankly, inspired.
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group
is a community dedicated to encouraging
and supporting insecure writers
in all phases of their careers.