Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Moment of Clarity

Every now and again I have one of these. They aren't always about writing, but sometimes they are. They're those moments when everything just comes together, and for whatever reason the moment takes on this feeling that's outside itself. Something that, however briefly, transcends the circumstances of where it happens for that spark of inspiration. They can occur about any old thing, and sometimes as a writer I get lucky and they happen about something I'm working on.

I remember once in college I was working on what would go on to be my second serious WIP and all at once, I saw how to make it work, start to finish. Of course, it didn't quite work out that way, but years later as the story has resurrected itself, much of what appeared in my head in that one moment is still there. More importantly, it's still found it's way into the story, and helped to keep the narrative coherent.

Other times I've had those moments about how to finish a scene, or a short story, or something else that had been giving me fits when I tried to approach it head-on. Which is one of the ways in which these moments work, in that they are almost always indirectly. I'm not thinking about anything in particular, and usually not even the thing about which the moment concerns. It just pops into my head, and then it's there.

Unlike some of the other ideas that have popped into my head (I never did recover that idea that occurred to me at the stop light months ago) these moments of clarity tend to stick with me, even if I don't get the chance to write them down. Say if I'm in the parking lot at Walmart and putting groceries in the trunk, for example. Even if they aren't about writing but are about something else in my life.

The added bonus of those moments is that, for a while after, everything seems better. Call it temporary euphoria, but suddenly the view from even so mundane a location as the Walmart parking lot takes on grand overtones. There's a feel to things, where the coming and going of the people, or the expanse of green hills on the horizon, or even the cars on the road just sort of resonate with deeper meaning. Pretentious? Perhaps. But it's there, and it's inspiring.

1 comment:

Kmcelhinny said...

I like those moments...

And you're right about the feeling. Thanks for reminding me of it :)