“Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.” – Isabel Allende
The title is a shortened version of my favorite writer’s advice to aspiring writers. I am taking a leaf out of this advice and showed up to find out if the muse would take over from here if I persistently showed up at my desk. I don’t know if I am a good writer or a bad writer. All that I know is that I love talking to MS Word lot more than actual people.
Show Up and Throw Up
I know that being in the company of stagnant thought will not produce the best writing. But, the best way to navigate through the maze of bad writing takes a lot of effort. In order to reach the goal of being a good writer is to be dedicated and to be comfortable in the loneliness. At least, that is what I keep thinking to myself.
This December Tall Tales series is just to show up at the writing desk and keep at it until the Muse gives in. So, let’s talk about the very first story that I wrote a long time back. My very first made-up story was the Fisherman and His wife on their beach house. The fisherman was hanging his net and his wife was looking at him from the window of the first floor.
Dark Corners of Childhood Daydreaming
I was in Upper Kindergarten (UKG) and it was well-received artwork. Ms. Vasanth madame was very happy with my work. I was a person who always liked dark corners and I can dream with my eyes open. I am most often lost in my daydreams that I am crowded by the visuals.
The fact that everything that I read makes me visualize the words as psychological images in my mind. So, sometimes, a book’s scene had been powerful then it has stayed in my internal space disturbing me. I cannot hide away from these books just because it causes emotional turmoil.
Write for One Person Not the World
The fact that the entire scene that distresses my mind is done so beautifully to have caused that reaction from me. This then takes me to quite a humorous story rule given by Kurt Vonnegut
8 Rules for a Great Story
“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”
I often found that the trick to invoke the Muse for me was to write Dear Reader and I imagine an elderly friend listening with great care what I wish to share.
Please the Reader Within You
I try my best to please the reader in me. My brain is wired differently and there are many confusions and shortcomings that result in a lot of chaos. The best way to calm down the agitation that picks up momentum and starts swinging wildly would be to tell me that the path towards clarity is right ahead.
Another Golden Rule of Writing by Kurt Vonnegut
I am taken in by one more of Kurt Vonnegut’s thoughts on Writing and over the many years of trying to find topics to blog, I found Vonnegut’s thoughts to be true.
“The most damning revelation you can make about yourself is that you do not know what is interesting and what is not.”
This rule seems very interesting to explore. In many ways, it is true that every blogger is on the lookout for the next viral post that would skyrocket his or her website traffic. But if you keep staring at the statics of site visits in the WordPress App is not going to suddenly make me famous overnight. That is when I came upon the quote “to write to please just one person.” The one person is not someone outside of you but “YOU.”
Lasting Joy in the Act of Writing
Writing is such a lonely activity that sometimes at the end of a session with the blank screen and endless keyboard tapping you wish for someone to hear what you had to say and all that you find is silence surrounding you, that is when the shoe pinches my sole.
But in all this, there exists a sense of self-satisfaction of having reached the goal for the day and having kept word counting until you could say I clocked in my day’s work. Initially, this might work but the most important thing to understand is that once the clocking in days is done then it is time to check out how much of it is worth keeping and how much of it is to be trashed.
But in all this, the takeaway from the activity is that writing feels much like a solitary effort of a person who wishes to gain further insight into the very essence of their existence.
Image Source: Pexels.com