“Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.”W. Somerset Maugham
Inspiration is a funny thing. It comes and goes, and if you wait for it, you probably won’t find it. It’s something that’s really always there, and if you’re in tune with your thoughts, and your feelings, and that strange feeling you get when you can’t write or sleep and nothing on the television sounds good, so you’re staring up at your ceiling, lying on your bed, wondering what to do, and you realise just listening to that voice in your head sounds good… inspiration isn’t hard to provoke.
I find a lot of inspiration in quotes from other authors. Maybe that’s corny? I usually think quotes are corny. Or at least, the ones most people like and post to their facebook walls. But the ones from the literary greats always seem to make sense, and give me hope there’s a chance I’ll become the writer I always hoped I’d be.
I went down to Ocean Beach yesterday, browsing the antique shops for something fun. It’s a really strange area. I like the shops there, but man, the people are out of this world. I find it kind of uncomfortable, everyone looks homeless and most are on some kind of drug, one lady wandered into the street and started shouting at cars. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t talk fondly of it, so maybe I’m the one who’s weird after all.
In any case, I found two cool new pieces for my room, an Indian wood carving taken from some temple, showing scenes of dancers and worshipers. It looks like it’s the last section of a series of panels, and I like it well enough now that’s it’s hanging. The other piece was this red-lacquered wood carving that hangs on the wall, with an inlaid gold design of some oriental fashion. It looks like a robed man riding a kirin, but it’s faded and hard to tell.
The commercial for my book is coming along well enough. I expected it to be finished on Friday, but we’re still going through it, so I’ll give it another week. It’s hard to pressure the editors as they’re doing it as a side project on top of their already substantial workload, so I feel inclined to be patient. But it’s so exciting, it’s a little hard not to just demand they drop everything and work on it now.
In other news, did you know that if you want to visit Bhutan (which I sorely do), it’s $250 dollars a day? They have strict cultural-protection policies, and don’t want tourists just wandering willy-nilly around their country, so they sort of police you and make sure you don’t run roughshod through their temples and sanctuaries. For that price, you get a guided tour of the country, plus food, plus lodging, plus travel expenses. So, I mean, you get a lot for your money. But it’s still expensive, and not the experience I’m looking for at all. I don’t want to be lead by the hand, and I don’t want to stay in a nice hotel. I just want to go in with a backpack and see what I find.
In any case, life and the book and everything is moving along swimmingly, and in a few weeks I’ll be back on track to working on the second book again. Research has shown agents aren’t interested in self-published books that haven’t sold at least 20,000 copies, so I need to get cracking.
It’s entirely possible. Perseverance is the key quality here, and I’m not giving up until people are like, yeah, Neil Gaiman is great, but he’s no Pearson Sharp.
Someone will say that someday. Just you wait.
I love the quote you opened with and your observations which follow. I agree that when we get quiet and pay attention, the ideas just arrive. I am only beginning to trust my imagination now.
Good luck with the book!
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if you can’t trust your imagination, who can you trust? I’d be pretty lonely without mine, though there’s always the disappointment of finding the world doesn’t live up to what you imagine it could be. Just have to keep writing until it comes true.