In Which I Search For Ideas

What’s that I hear you asking? No motivation to write?

Not exactly. It’s just that when I do write, I have both the motivation and the inspiration to write. Right now, I’m incredibly motivated to write. Given a topic, I could probably tackle 500 words without a break. But as (bad) luck would have it, I’m all out of topics right now. I guess I could use the daily prompts, but the thing is, single word prompts aren’t exactly my style. I could never have imagined that my own words would come back to bite me in the ass.

Where most people see infinite ways to parse and augment that word in countless ways into their posts or poems or stories, the same freedom that single word prompts offer confuses me. There’s just so many paths to go down by that I’m not sure which one to go down by.

I have no idea what I’m going to write about and that scares me a bit. I mean, not knowing where you’re going, what you’re writing about, that’s scary. I prefer conditions where I know exactly what I’m working on. But on second thought, where’s the fun in writing without a little serendipity?

Nothing terrifies me more than this: an empty page or screen with a blinking cursor.

Fiction might offer me a refuge, but the only stories I can conjure up in my mind are variants of ‘The Hero’s Journey’ or something similar to the ‘protagonist-is-insane-it’s-all-in-their-head’ trope, which never makes for good storytelling. And I’ll never be as good as Yinglan when it comes to flash fiction. It’s no wonder then, that people respect authors and writers so much. It takes an awful lot of time and thinking to come up with a story that can captivate readers, and convey a message while it’s at it.

I mean, just consider me as an example. I wrote a fiction piece over a year ago and though I’ve tried well over a dozen times after that, I just couldn’t make stuff up, which is what fiction is, according to naive me. I’ve tried to write a ‘sequel’ for that story, to counter the almost-negative ending that the original had, but I came up cold. I tried writing new stories but even those ended up in the bin eventually. So yeah, writing fiction is hard.

But when I thought about it, a lack of topics shouldn’t really stop me from writing. I could write just about anything, including my perceived lack of inspiration. And that’s how you, dear reader, ended up reading this stream of consciousness AKA the signature moody, depressive writing that I’m famous for. And here I was, thinking I’d gotten over it and moved to lighter, funnier writing. 😅

But keeping my tendency for depression at bay wasn’t going to put words on the paper. So as I resumed my journey to find an idea to expand upon, I remembered that some of the best ideas can spring forth from books. I had stumbled upon the truth that reading burgers writing. Begets, damn keyboard, not burgers. Reading begets writing. And so I began reading.

Remember that post where I listed out books I wanted to read this year, among other things? That list has, obviously, been forgotten, with nary a book read. I have, however, been reading Time Travel by James Gleick. The book takes a look at the concept of time travel and how it has ingratiated itself into modern culture and fiction. It begins with a short biography of H G Wells, in the nineteenth century, as he was setting up the storyline for ‘The Time Machine’, his first book that went on to be an international sensation. Wells wrote this at a time when the Industrial Revolution was in full swing and the world has been in love with the concept of time travel ever since. That’s all you’ll get in this mini-review, partly because of the trainwreck that is me, and partly because that’s all I’ve read so far, productivity be damned.

I guess even the best bloggers and writers have days where they can’t get any words down. Happens to all of us, eh? Maybe it’s only when we’re stuck without inspiration for days, that we begin to appreciate the times when we do have ideas to work upon.

The view from the mountaintop is great, but it’s only in the valleys that we discover who we really are.

As a blogger, I write to express myself and project the thoughts in my mind on to a more permanent medium. Be it the awkward social encounters I have and funny consequences thereof, or my ramblings when I’m down and want to withdraw from the world, writing helps give these experiences a home. The days without anything to write about aren’t necessarily bad, they only serve to highlight the days that I do write.

Image: Pixabay

2 thoughts on “In Which I Search For Ideas

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