Amelia Robinson

Hey there! I'm a student at the University of Kentucky and an aspiring writer. This blog serves as an outlet for all the things I want to talk about that are writing-related. I'll post some of my writing, too, for your enjoyment and critique. Thank you for stopping by! If you'd like to know more about me, feel free to visit here!

The Strike of the Uninspired Monster

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I'm sitting here at my desk looking like a five-year-old, partly because of the pout curling my mouth, partly because I've got my hair in two French braids (a look that does not work for me and yet I decided to do anyway) and partly because I'm eating nerds, which I haven't done since I was in middle school.  (Sad, I know.  What can I say, I had a deprived teenage-hood.)

I'm pretty much convinced that I would rise out of my self-imposed five-year-old look if I were writing.  Writing speaks of sophistication and therefore, I would look productive and grown up.

I have been doing very little writing as of late.  Frighteningly little.  But I've got a whole slew of excuses to spout at you as to why -- e.g. I'm planning and solidifying summer plans, I've been practicing my hoopdancing religiously, I'm dealing with a host of family dramas, and I've been catching up on my reading.  All perfectly legitimate excuses, but the reason I haven't been writing is because I'm uninspired.

There's this vicious cycle that occurs when un-inspiration strikes: when I realize that I'm completely drawing a blank, that's there absolutely no magic left in the stores in my mind, that even thinking about my favorite stories -- The Avengers movie, BBC Sherlock, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi-- I can't seem to bring myself into the stratosphere of my creativity.

Then starts the doubting.  The "oh dear Lord, how the hell can I call myself a writer when I'm not actually doing any said writing?" kind.  That turns into even deeper, depressing stuff like, "Maybe this isn't what I was put on this planet to do" and that goes into the spiel about if I'm not a writer, then what the hell am I?  It's when this identity crisis strikes that I think about Elizabeth Gilbert's (Eat Pray Love) TED talk about what a shame it is that great, creative minds are lost to early deaths often at their own hands.

Not that I'm thinking about suicide, that's not my point.  My point is that I feel seriously messed up when I feel uninspired.  As this gaping hole erupts in me where my ideas used to come from, I think, "I'm never going to end up finishing anything because I spend too much time appreciating other people's stories and not enough time and effort on my own."

(I keep dropping these Nerds.  Why won't they go into my mouth like I want them to?  I keep promising them that my stomach is a soft, very comfy place and that they can mingle with the awesome leftover ribs I just had for lunch, but it's like they don't believe me.  Jeez, they're childish.)

My problem right now is that I don't know how to get back to the golden days.  The days where ideas came flying out of the blue to strike me down like the hand of God and if I didn't write them down, then by God, I was screwed.  My theory is that school had a whole lot to do with it.  In school, I was socializing, I was studying, I was learning, I was experiencing life.  Now?  I've been out of high school for a year and I feel like a total bum and all that more excited for college in the fall.  But I don't want to hang my inspiration on school, since that's in bloody August and it's freaking June. (Basically.*)

I remember when I was a kid and had first started writing.  I was twelve, I was homeschooled and bored out of my mind.  But also greatly inspired by Sarah Dessen (That Summer, Just Listen) and Christopher Paolini (Eragon).  I thought, "Hey I can write stories like that, too," and I did.  I wrote with abandon.  I was convinced that what I was writing was good stuff and my only concern when I sat down to write for the day was how to bring the shimmery scene from my mind to the page.  But I would just think about it a bit, picture it in my head like a movie, and write it down in prose.  It didn't matter if it made sense to others.  It made sense to me.

Where are those days?  I seriously want to rip my inner editor out by the hair and fling it into the corner to cool off for a few days -- or months.  Then I want to find wherever the hell my muse went a drag it back kicking and screaming and tie it to a chair until it decides to talk.  I want to write, dammit.

I know what some of you might be thinking, because it's the first thing that pops into my head when I say "I want to write."  The response is: "Then, for God's sake, write."

Yeah?  Write what?  Saying "write anything" isn't exactly permission to take creative freedom by the tail.  It's crippling to me, to see the vastness of an idea, an idea so wide I can't even see it.  I need a focus and my problem is that I can't seem to figure it out.

My beta reader, Nuzzie, an awesome chica on the other side of the world, wants me to try entering a contest held by Quirk Books (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children).  They're putting out a call for submissions of novel length that feature a love story.  Deadline is October 1st.  And the prize is $10,000 and publication.  (Yeah, that was my face, too.)  With such a limitless prompt, how could I NOT enter?  BECAUSE I'M FREAKING DRY, THAT'S WHY.  I think, what the hell do I write about?  "A love story."  That is so not an answer.

Any consolation or advice is welcome, especially if it's in the form of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (no nuts).

* = Okay, if it's the end of a month, can't you start calling it the next month?  It's nearly June, so what's the big diff if I call it June already?  (My dad and I have a running debate on this topic.)

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