Inspiration, you WHORE.

Inspiration is a fickle slut.

My muse, she ain’t faithful at all. Nuh-uh. She out there all friendly and wanderin’. Ain’t never ’round when I needs it.

That dilemma has been two-fold for me of late. You see, I wanna write a book. In fact, I know kinda what I want to write. You, my friends, need not know this beyond the “it’s autobiographical” nutshell.

I was out walking and chatting with someone the other day, bemoaning my struggles to get this bitch started. All I really care to do right now is write an outline. I want some idea of structure. Basically just an idea of what I need to work with. I said exactly that, that I didn’t know where to start. He said, “Start at the beginning.”

Okay, so… which beginning? The beginning after when I almost died on my scooter in ’04 and had a fun head injury and stuff? The beginning after I lost my job in ’05, had 2 unstable years in varied employment? The beginning after I had a complete depressive onslaught in ’06 from stupidly suppressing my period with birth control, ie: hormone-fucking? Or the beginning after quitting a job that had me gaining 20 pounds in ’07, descending back INTO depression, and then led to me losing 70 pounds and changing much of my life for the better? (Clearly that story’s unfinished. There’s so much of me that needs to improve or heal yet. Like I’m alone?)

Well, I’ve written on my blogs, here and my old blog, The Last Ditch, the equivalent of probably 350,000+ words; about 2,700 big postings. This blog alone, as a compressed text file, is well over 4mb. Somehow I have to wade through both for the last three or four years and find relevant bits to build on for the book.

Let’s face it, I had a serious head injury. I smoke a lil’ somethin’ somethin’. Between the two, there are memory lapses. My blogs are a HUGE part of a life that’s kind of mentally fragmented for me now. I remember snippets. Phases. Eras. Great moments. Horrible moments. And very little of the in-betweens.

So thank god I’ve written so much of it. Especially in the last year.

Twitter is fantastic as an ongoing record for anyone who’s ever had memory issues or brain injuries, man. Use it right to record the minutae of your life and it could make reaching 70-something in a few decades a whole lot more entertaining. “I wonder what this day was like in 2011? I should check my Twitter stream.”

Let’s address the brain injury for those joining us more recently: No, I’m not stupid now. I’m not slow in conversation. In fact, you’d never even suspect I can’t remember 6 months of my life because I flew off a motorbike and landed on my head. But me, I know it. How I process things is different. Retention has changed. How I have to be/feel, that too has changed. You, though, you’d think I was mostly tickety-boo. I’ll take it.

All of this, however, combines to make it really difficult for me to figure out how the fuck I want to start this book of mine. Where, what, yada-yada-yada. Couple into that the emotional tightrope I have to walk to “go there”, and yes, I’m a little blocked here.

And I’ve been SO overwhelmed by it. For WEEKS now I have tried setting aside time EVERY WEEKEND to try and get some progress on this. Total so far? ZIP. NADA. ZILCH. Motherfucker!

Tonight, here I am, staring down the bittersweet mountainside of a three-day weekend. Two calling for extreme rain. Me, virtually no plans other than visiting friends tomorrow. My god, I have to try writing this cunt AGAIN?

Oooohhhhh. [big heavy sigh] Not too keen, I thought.

Then it hit me: Maybe the method is the problem. Maybe I’m feeling overwhelmed by this screen and the commitment of kilobytes and characters to the feeble ideas of just what might be a good place to start. Oh, it’s all so SIGNIFICANT when you actually type something into a screen. God, the ever-daunting permanence of Facebook fuckups has taught us the importance of being mindful of any typing we do nowadays, hasn’t it? The freedom of writing on a computer isn’t quite what it used to be, for me.

But, then, I’ve always found that paper-and-pen was a more organic way to go and thus isn’t really my style, as much of my writing is linear only in that “this leads to that which leads to that”, in my Stefflike six-degrees take on the world at large. I have a definite cadence on the screen, yes, but I’m able to freestyle ideas — but not write — a little easier on paper. I haven’t worked with paper much at all in recent years, since I have an idea and I run with it. I don’t often need to flesh out how an idea expands into bigger things; with a book, one must.

Obviously, Google Documents hasn’t exactly been unlocking the heart of Steff of late. No. Now we turn to the Hilroy 3-Subject Notepad. Surely salvation lay within?

Holy hell, Batman, it does! Apparently $2.97 for a chunk of dead tree is a whole ‘nother kind of creative experience. There’s a lot to be said to the basic brainstorming method that I learned from Mrs. Potschka in Grade 4.

Suddenly, I’m able to jot point-form ideas about some of the worst experiences of my adulthood. Nothing, you know, heavy — just quick and dirty. “The breakdown that day I was alone at X office.” Boom. Absolutely fucking horrible experience, briefly captured… but in the familiarity of my handwriting, not the cold, intimidating and clinical feel of fonts on a screen.

And maybe sometimes that’s all we need — the tactile experience of a book inhand, a pen between our fingers, and the comfortable scrawl we’ve seen almost daily our whole lives.

Because I’m onto something. Praise be. The failure week-in, week-out of the last couple months has really been crippling me and leaving me feeling like a creative hack.

Truth be told, I suspect I just wasn’t ready, psychically/emotionally/whatever. I’m not too big on diving headlong back into my recent past. I’m loving where these days are leading… and I’m proud of all I’ve gotten past. But I haven’t owned it enough to wade back on through. Not then. Not yet?

I’m ready to open the door, I suppose. The thing about it is, acknowledging that it ALL exists doesn’t mean I have to make it all my focus. I just need to get the lay of the land then decide which of the landmarks is most worth heading toward. Because something is. Something always is.