Tuesday, April 17, 2012

AtoZ Challenge/Day 16 - Letter N

N is for Not all Mine.  I have a sneaking suspicion that many writers will be able to relate to the subject of this post.  If not, then I guess it's about time for me to have the straight jacket re-sized (crazy people like to eat, too).  Either way, I'm curious about it.  And, I should say -as a side note- that after talking to a friend, I don't think this kind of phenomenon applies only to writers; I think practitioners of any artistic release may experience what I call the "not-all-mine" aspect of creative molding. 
There have been many, many times when I have sat down to write something -whether it be a poem, a blog post, a non-fiction piece on the growing plague of politico-hypocritco, or my novel- and my fingers just start dancing across the keyboard, moving to a rhythm played by some unseen...something.  It's as if the words are introducing themselves to me, instead of the other way around.  There have literally been at least a half-dozen times in my life when I have been looking back over old, pseudo-discarded work and had absolutely no recollection of writing a re-discovered piece.  I'll ask my husband, "Do you remember this?"  To which he almost always comes back with the safe response of, "Yeah, I think so."  And I'll stare at it -written in my hand-writing, garnished with my signature grammatical style- and just shake my head.  Then there are the times with the novel when I write almost trance-like, moving through entire chapters with an ease that feels almost mystical.  Entire hours are lost in what seems like mere minutes, and when the tippety-tap of the keys comes to an abrupt end, I feel both exhausted and exhilarated.  Yet, I never go over what I have just written in that moment.  I save it to my flash-drive and walk away.  When I return, prepared to embark on the next chapter, I will read what I last wrote in an effort to find my place and flow before moving forward.  And while, of course, the story-line and characters are familiar to me, there is a certain prose that appears: dressing metaphors, similes, and other descriptive language in a colorful and coordinating attire with glittering accessories, none of which I even recall having on hand in my writer's wardrobe.
I know there are many writers and artists that believe in -or at the very least consider- the possibility of "a muse."  I'm not sure how I feel about that, myself.  Even still, a muse is meant to inspire, right?  Not to actually do the writing, painting, or composing for us.  Right? 
So, if I am being completely honest (and why be anything else unless fake-blaming another person for the determined fart that broke free in a confined space, despite your best efforts to clinch and smile), I think I would have to admit that the things I write do not always seem like they come from me.  As crazy as it sounds: I think I have help.  And in case I'm right and not bat-shit crazy, I would like to give a shout out to the invisible wordsmith that chose me to hang with.  Thanks for doing what you do to help me suck as little as possible.  Much props, homie.  Much props.


  1. It doesn't happen often, but I sometimes enter that state where it's like the story plays like a movie in my mind while my fingers automatically type it out. Those moments are magic. And I often read over my writing and am like, "Who the heck wrote that?!?" Sometimes I say it in a good way, and sometimes not. :-)

    Wishing you continued success with the A to Z challenge,

    1. yes! exactly. whew. thank god. no need to dust off the ol' straight-jacket.

  2. Yup, absolutely this happens to me. I relate it to the similar thing that happens when I sit down for some meditation for a bit and come out of it to find I've been there for forty minutes...WHERE WAS I HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

    A-Z @ Elizabeth Twist

    1. i WISH i could meditate like that. i can't get my mind to shut up long enough. seriously, meditation is not so easily achieved. i'm jealous.