Note to Self: Indecipherable

Sunday, 29 March 2009

I agree wholeheartedly with the maxim that it is necessary to carry pen and paper at all times. It's those times when you're doing boring, autopilot things that juicy little ideas for poems or stories or essays pop up from where they've been hiding, simmering.

(Gives a bit of gilt-edging to the doing of boring, autopilot things, I guess. Why then isn't my house cleaner and tidier?)

If you don't get those little buggers pegged down, they go. They just slide away out the door of your mind like speedy slugs. This is why I want a whiteboard in my shower. That waterfall beating on my head and neck just carves out a slippery dip for those ideas to fall out. I had such a good idea for a poem the other day. By the time I was out of the shower and near a pen or a keyboard, it had drifted off like smoke into the wind. Which was frustrating, because the ideas have been as infrequent as modern-day manna lately. All it takes is a garden variety cold, or an ear infection, and my ability to be creative unbalances itself and falls apart like a cardboard cutout. It's particularly frustrating.

Problem with getting ideas pegged down, is that even when I do, they have this tendency to deflate like a tent once I do. This also is particularly frustrating. How frustrating this whole bloody process is! :) I am still struggling with the whole essay writing and short story writing thing, because the first whiff of an outline or any sort of structure and everything disintegrates. It all becomes so didactic in my head, even though it's a fluffy ethereal idea, that I end up losing interest. All this in the space of time it takes to cook some two minute noodles. Sigh.

So any ideas I have necessarily have to be fluid and abstract and airy so that I don't feel chained down. Problem with that is that then the idea is so airy that even I can't decipher what the hell it's about. Here is a note I wrote frantically to myself on my mobile phone:
All clocks. Instead, when someone said come here I would say not in a minute but in a XXX being the measurement of time between
Right. Of course. Better go. Time for my meds.


  1. You're an excellent writer! I love seeing what you will have to say next and HOW you will say it. You're also funny and cute!

    Glad your feeds are up and running!

  2. Mothership to Sue: 'Time in a bottle is as buoyant as a potato in the summer'.
    You have your orders. Over and out.

  3. Patti - thank you for those compliments! It's nice to get feedback - it's such a difficult thing to do. So hard to mine it, so hard to have the courage to keep doing it, isn't it :) I understand why you laid non-blog writing aside. I had to do so too. Sometimes that's wisdom, I guess, to let the ground lay fallow. I hope you too find a way to pick up that pen and get writing those stories again. It's a comfort to know there are other people out there struggling with the whole thing :) You have an abundance of talent yourself. I hope you find ways to scratch forward back into writing that book, or whatever you end up writing. I totally understand why it's so hard. I totally think we should keep plugging away, even if it's just in our resistances :)

    Erin: That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Is this like the phraseal equivalent of listening to World music? Writing from gibberish? Might be fun if I have the guts to take up the challenge ;)

    Actually it's funny. I was sitting on the train on Friday night and there was an animated discussion going on next to me by a couple speaking Italian. I didn't understand a word they were saying, but I was reading a book called The Intuitive Writer, in which your little exercise would have fit very well indeed, and it felt like such a great combination, reading stuff I could hardly get my head around and listening to people I couldn't understand at all.

    Our heads full of rational, logical, imperial knowledge really limit us, don't they?

    I feel the need to go and dance naked round a bonfire :)

  4. Oooh skyclad!

    Actually I was just thinking it sounded like an alien had taken over your brain and I was letting the alien in my brain communicate with your alien. :)

    BTW you ARE a fantastic writer!

  5. Stop fucking with my mind, Word dude :)

  6. LOL It's okay, I was joking.

    Thanks for the laugh and the encouragement darling

  7. S'ok. I wasn't really sorry. :)

  8. Hey Sue Cole again. Just wanted to say that I liked your writing at the end of your post about not saying you'll be back in a minute but in XXX, refering to the time in between, cool. I also agree with carying pen and paper arround at all times in case I get an idea for a poem so that I don't forget. I've done that so many times. Anyway, I enjoyed your post.

  9. Cole, that's amusing because I have absolutely no idea what I was trying to say to myself. If you understand what I was talking about, maybe you could write it? LOL

    Thanks, dude. A romantic mystic and a skeptical realist. That's a lovely balance :)

  10. haha Just love that note you wrote to yourself! I think you should start a short story from this beginning..or even as an ending. I want to know more!! Hey just look at it like the first line of a fold over! ;)
    Love the your lips! haha

  11. oh, i just had a similar conversation with myself with pen in hand. why don't i follow through? it seems like i have a million fabulous stories and thoughts yet they won't seem to transition from my brain to paper. and i totally get those little indecipherable notes, i have about 20 composition notebooks filled with them. i dream of someone discovering them after i am long gone and finally being able to decipher what i was not able to.

  12. Yea, I've decided to stick with the Romantic Mystic. I just ordered me a book on Christian Mysticism. I think it's called "The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism." It looks pretty good. I also just bought "The Dark Night of the Soul" by St. John Of The Cross. There's some pretty good stuff in there as well. I no longer hold to the teachings Calvinism. I've finally let it go for good this time. I'm feeling much better now that I've stopped arguing and wanting to be right all the time.

  13. glad you have found your blog...

    look forward to reading more.

    i definitely think you should put a whiteboard in your shower. just in case.

  14. Andi - I think writing gobbledegooky as if in a foldover is a good idea. Anything to get rid of the yips!! :) (Maybe I'll try alcohol next. That seems to be the method of choice for writers, heh :)

    Lucy - it's fun to read back over those bits and pieces written down, isn't it? Yes, it's a bit discouraging when we see how much we hold ourselves back, isn't it? But just gotta keep pushing on nonetheless, I guess! Never giving up.

    Cole - those books sound great. I read Dark Night of the Soul several years ago and need to read it again, along with the Cloud of Unknowing :) Who thought not knowing could be so enjoyable? :) I'm glad you're feeling better. The weight removal of having to be right all the time is a massive one indeed, isn't it.

    Charlotte - thank you and welcome. You know, if I could find a waterproof whiteboard, I think I would do it! :)


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