Posted: July 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

The bizarre way in which the creative mind works constantly amazes me. Inspiration, idea, and motivation can come from anywhere at anytime. While you can force yourself to sit in a chair and tap keys, sometimes you just can’t kick your brain into the right gear to really get rolling…and then one little thing can change it all.

For the past several months, I’ve been in a writing slump. I’ve done a little writing here and there, but I haven’t been able to get into that place where the world falls away and there is nothing but me and the story and the character–the magical place that makes me love what I do. I’d tried the “butt in chair” approach. I’d tried changes of scenery and listening to mood music and all sorts of things designed to open up my mind and kickstart my writing.

None of it worked very well.

Then last weekend my partner-in-crime and I took a road trip to see the family up in East Texas. That’s about a 3 1/2 hour drive each way, so that left us with a lot of time to talk, listen to music…and come up with story fodder. Bits and pieces that I needed for my current novel in progress finally clicked into place. Back story for a novel I intend to start soon began to coalesce. And, most amazingly to me, an idea for a short story for the upcoming Halloween anthology Boo Too! came almost fully-formed into my head.

With the novels, I was trying to discover the bits and pieces I needed. Learning more about those stories didn’t surprise me much. But the short story…that one took me by surprise. I was driving along, mind on the road and the music, and a song came on my iPod that I’ve heard many, many times. I wake up to it every morning, and I very rarely skip it when it comes up on my iPod. I know every word, am familiar with every note. But when the song came on that day, it was like someone flipped a switch in my head. In a flash I knew my characters, my story, and how it tied in with Halloween. The whole story just appeared in my brain.

Now, I’d been dealing with some fairly debilitating pain – tendonitis in my shoulder and elbow. I hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep over the past several days. My allergies and sinuses were driving me batty. And I had to work my day job.

For once, I didn’t let any of that stop me.

I began to write the story at work, laying a framework that I would expound on and polish once I got home that night. After work, I cooked and ate a quick dinner, chatted with the roomie a bit, and then sat down to write. When my arm hurt, I threw a heating pad on it or took more Advil and kept writing.

I wrote for about four hours. Maybe five. I wrote until invisible anvils forced my lids over eyeballs that felt as if they had been sandblasted. I wrote until I lost all objectivity or ability to figure out what needed to happen next. I wrote six thousand words –six times more than I’d written on any single day in the past several months and at least as many as I’d written in the past six weeks.

All because of one song, heard in the right place at the right time. Amazing, isn’t it?


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