In case you’re tired of me always talking about the baby, let me tell you about sparking. I don’t mean the white-blue sparks that that arc and buzz and pop in an electrical outlet gone haywire. That shit’s likely to burn your house down. Flip the circuit breaker and call an electrician.
And if you want the house to burn? Follow the same procedure and also call a therapist.
I’m talking about story sparks. Those kernels that pop into your brain to spark like that faulty electrical outlet. The good sort of spark. The kind you want.
Unless creativity and imagination are the antithesis of all you hold dear, in which case, this blog is probably not for you.
The spark might be the way the reflected sunset turns a field to raspberry gold, or a cloud formation that at first glance seems to contain a snow-capped mountain, or the recitation of a tongue twister that sounds like arcane chanting. It might fizzle and never develop into anything, or someday it might become that perfect descriptor or plot element. Maybe it will even keep sparking, take root and grow into a story all its own.
I like to set aside pages in my notebooks for these, but I recently discovered I hadn’t done that at all in the current one. When I’ve nearly filled it.
Apparently, I haven’t had many sparks in the last year or so. (And don’t even get me started on the fact I’ve taken nearly a year to fill a single notebook.) Droughts of inspiration are real, people. And they’re normal. They’re okay! Even if they’re beyond frustrating and demoralizing.
I’ve been in a drought for a while. A ton of creative energy goes into a baby! Obvious, I know, but I never anticipated it might contribute to creative burnout the way a novel draft might. No one warned me.
I wasn’t going to talk about the baby . . .
But maybe, I think, I’m starting to bounce back. I’m sparking again! And it’s wonderful. It feels good to be back.