Inscriptive Intoxication: How you must write


Ray Bradbury once said, "You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." It is in that light which I find myself sharing about writing today. To say that writing is an escape is simply stating the obvious. Those who write have found a place that is untainted, unblemished, unpolluted, and an unadulterated joy to live in. In this existence a writer can live the passion, and bemoan the devastation of life’s great saga. But this is common knowledge to any writer. The question today is whether or not you have become a writer.

There is the mechanical side of the practice where one must learn the grammar and find the comfortable venue for writing. There is the irritation of trying to get someone to read the brilliant prose or poetry you have slaved over. There are the realities of life where the kid’s soccer game might get in the way of some true inspiration and kills that dazzling piece. There are many things that get in the way of writing, but what about finding a method to eradicate interruptions? What if you took the time to work at the art while still dealing with those other concerns?

This is what I think Bradbury was speaking of. The times when we are soccer moms/dads will happen no matter what we do. The trick is to keep whatever that “dazzling piece” in the front of your mind. One thing I do when I get inspired is that I open a new file and name the piece. If other events dictate that you pay attention to them, the idea does not disappear. I tend to leave those files up on the screen to bring it back the minute I sit down, or save the file to my desktop for later consideration and, hopefully, work.

All this takes a re-engineering of your attitude and actions in life. Much of our daily lives are mundane and predictable. The soccer mom/dad knows where they have to take the star athlete, and when to pick them up. The benefit of the commonplace tasks is that each action requires mental ability that is already achieved. Most of driving anywhere requires little of our brain power, unless it is a new destination. Why not use that time to work out an outline in your head for the piece sitting on your computer screen. That screen might be on a laptop which you can use while waiting for the game to either start or stop. Smartphones all have note taking capabilities and can be used while waiting for the dentist to call you in.

Those times when I find little or no inspiration usually occurs when my mind is focused on things other than writing. Wondering where the next check is coming in as a freelancer and the bills that need paying take even the strongest down. Writing is a noble art, but a roof over your head is pretty high on the lists of “musts.” The truth is that if you immerse yourself in the writing you will get better and more people will want to pay you for the fruits of your fealty to the art.

Write first and let the rest of life happen as it may. Write about thinking about writing and let the rest of life happen as it may. Write about the rest of life, and let the rest of life happen as it may. For God’s sake write!

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