Faced with the longest stretch of writer’s block I’ve ever experienced, I’m desperately attempting to scrounge pennies of inspiration wherever I can find them, so I’m sitting here, re-reading one of my very favorite books about writing: Story by Robert McKee. When I got to this long paragraph I found myself wiggling in my seat. This is precisely what it feels like to need to write something so much that it hurts. You look around at the world and see connections and puzzle pieces that you want to fit together, but someone painted over the picture on the box and you have no idea what the image is supposed to look like in the end, so you sit blindly for a while, pressing mismatched fragments together in hopes that they will eventually turn into something coherent. For a long time all you have is a pile of pieces and a belief that what you have been given means something.
“The love of story — the belief that your vision can be expressed only through story, that characters can be more “real” than people, that the fictional world is more profound than the concrete.
The love of the dramatic — a fascination with the sudden surprises and revelations that bring sea-changes in life.
The love of truth — the belief that lies cripple the artist, that every truth in life must be questioned, down to one’s own secret motives.
The love of humanity — a willingness to empathize with suffering souls, to crawl inside their skins and see the world through their eyes.
The love of sensation — the desire to indulge not only in the physical but in the inner senses.
The love of dreaming — the pleasure in taking leisurely rides on your imagination just to see where it leads.
The love of humor — a joy in the saving grace that restores the balance of life.
The love of language — the delight in sound and sense, syntax and semantics.
The love of duality — a feel for life’s hidden contradictions, a healthy suspicion that things are not what they seem.
The love of perfection — the passion to write and rewrite in pursuit of the perfect moment.
The love of uniqueness — the thrill of audacity and a stone-faced calm when it is met by ridicule.”
So while I’m still running on the fumes of hope, I’ll just keep reading McKee and listening to this song on repeat since it makes me feel better.