Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dust in my view

"Inspiration!" said Joyce Carol Oates, "Yes. It exists somehow."

Months ago, when I tried to understand the 'ability' to write according to a formula, it seemed that my speech and writing were inversely related.

The more coherently I was able to speak, the less easily my written work came together; the muter or more unremarkable I was in speech, the more interesting my writing would become.

It occurred to me that this was a well-distributed arrangement, that I would alternately receive the blessing of creative speech and creative writing.

Of late, however, nothing comes at all, not in speech and not in writing. So I sense that it is time for the older formula to be replaced. Perhaps the writer cannot simply turn her mouth skywards for rain. Perhaps? Surely this inspiration of which J C Oates speaks will not just be delivered; it must undergo the same kind of gestation as a construction project or baked earth or a baby.

Inspiration! she says, Yes. It exists somehow.