I remember hearing a Virginia Woolf quote years ago on how writing was a sort of mania followed be a deep depression. While that is nothing close to what I am experiencing it isn’t too far off. I have nothing close to depression and I wouldn’t call the creative flames a mania, but while writing my book, Songs of Dreams and Creativity (available now on Amazon), my mind buzzed with energy. Now that it is over it is like I am emptied out, and while I have several other ideas I have no desire to reach for them and pull them out. I’ll get to them in due time, but now I need a rest.
Let me describe my experience writing Songs of Dreams and Creativity. First thing to understand is my mind is easily distracted but somehow can stay on three tracks at once as long as none of those tracks are overly complex. I can listen to music, read a book, and think simultaneously. If I think too much or the music has lyrics I want to listen to or turns into a news report everything else falls apart, but as long as I’m not really listening to the music, thinking only minor thoughts, and reading a story without a complex plot I can do three things at once. It was during one of these reading, thinking, and listening sessions that all of a sudden a thought crystalized in the forefront of my mind. It was a few lines of poetry about my dog. Now understand, for several years I have wanted to write The Adventures of the Roo Roo Dog as an illustrated children’s book, but I could never get past the title. Suddenly it was all there and all I had to do was pluck it out.
It was then that I ran to the computer and began harvesting the thoughts. Before too long a poem emerged before me on the computer screen and minutes later the next one came. Two days later I had eight children’s poems written and was well on my way to finishing my first book of children’s poetry.
It took me 20 days to write 50 poems, and for the most part they were all fully formed or they were edited when I sat down to write the next. It was a fast pace and it caused some strange things to happen in my mind. I had dreams like I had never had before. I dreamt one night that my neighbor was something called a Phasewalker and he was going to help me to defeat my ex-cell mate Longneck who was attempting to marshal an army of some sort to make me do some rather unpleasant things connected to his name Longneck.
Aside from the very vivid strange dreams I spent most of my days exhausted and worn out. I know with dog training they tell you the best way to tire out a dog is mental stimulation over physical stimulation. My mind was roaring at a hundred miles an our spitting out thought after thought and I couldn’t quiet it. When I had a thought I had to write it down and get it out. Other thoughts floated around waiting to be formed and I spent my time molding them until they were ready to be written down. It was a bit like holding twelve conversations at once and trying to remember them all.
It is an exhausting experience. Something like a 15 round fight with your own brain, and just like a boxer that has endured that kind of punishment there needs to be a convalescence period. Jumping right back into writing the next collection, which is going to be a travel narrative of a journey to answer the call of the ancient lands, I need a bit of time to let my mind settle. Wind down before winding it up again.