I left the muse on the train. A weekend away and my head is whirling with ideas, thoughts and impressions. Usually, this would be a good thing. But I’m struggling to distil it all into a single post. I’ve talked before about finding the armpits of a story. Today, I think I’ve turned left at the belly button and ended up somewhere under the right shoulder blade.
Too many ideas can be just as difficult for a writer as too few. When you’ve got nothing, you have to magic something out of thin air. When you’ve got a flood, you need to find a rowboat and decide a course of action. It’s your voice that helps you swim through, technically popping you up into a life ring just when you need one.
Deciding what to leave out is as important as deciding what to put in. Give three writers the same set of information and chances are they will each come up with a different story. Or should.
At this point, I’m still swimming in fragments. Two 17-year-old boys discussing life, Slash and hair. Whether it’s polite or not to insert yourself into another family’s crossword-puzzle debate (“no, no, stationary with an ‘a'”). The science of managing expectations. The sheer magnitude of realising that I’m okay with not being 25 any more.
Where am I going with this? Precisely my point.
I’m going to leave this post right here and head back to the station to await that muse. With any luck she’ll arrive with a clear plan on the morning train. Either that, or a full day of the family-work routine will swiftly bring me back to earth as a one-idea-at-a-time kind of gal.