Lee Davy continues his confessions series by writing about the various stages of the muse as relates to his personal experience.
The sun warms my face, the rushing sound of water reminds me of a day full of tears. There are silhouettes of animals trekking along the hills in my eyeline, and yet it’s all about me.
I didn’t earn a shilling for my first writing gig. I panicked at first. Then my inner voice told me to chill. It was part of the embryonic stage that I was melting into. It was something that I had to do. Eventually, it would lead to the elucidation of a more structured future.
That’s what I told myself.
But really, it was all about self-indulgence. That byline, that photo, that sniff of superstardom starting to slake a thirst that had been developing since I sat in class and picked my nose.
When the first article hit the stands I had dew on my coat as I picked up my copy from WHSmiths. I told the clerk that I was buying it because I was in it. She gave me that look. I wasn’t hiding it. I was megalomaniacal to the core.
I was the prodigal son.
My wife bought me a picture frame.
My first published piece would wither around the edges hoisted high on my pool room wall. Then we got divorced. The last time I saw it her dog had shit on it.
I only ever kept three articles that were published in a magazine. That first one, and two that made the front cover: my interview with Devilfish, and a story about the life and times of Dusty “Leatherass” Schmidt. I still have them in a blue filing cabinet that won’t close.
It all worked out.
I kept writing for nothing and eventually someone wanted to pay me for doing the same thing. I never stopped writing that first column. It was like my first child with the exception that it never asked me for any money.
About a year ago a poker outlet that wanted me to write for them approached me. Competition is fierce. Articles that you write decompose very quickly. Only your hardened fans remember the articles that you wrote that gave you such a sense of satisfaction that you read it to your wife. She always knows when I am proud of a piece of work. Then it gets one Facebook like. The negativism returns and I bathe in it.
It’s nice when someone who wants to pay you for your craft contacts you. Only this time it was slightly different. They wanted my quill, but they didn’t want the brand. They wanted the insides of my mind, but a tempered version incapable of attracting admonishments. My sensationalism scared them. It was the first time in my life that I became anonymous. I felt like one of those people who write to Dear Deirdre about their fascination with threesomes, but are to scared to tell the missus.
I was not a man of fancy words. You could talk to be about fascism all day and it still wouldn’t sink in. But it seems I have an opinion that cuts to the quick. It’s a little too vitriolic. It’s a little too authentic.
I sold my soul for money when I agreed to do it. It was internal bribery of the highest order. There was no luster in anything that I wrote for them. They were herded to the back of my to do list with things like creating a techno-utopian world, joining Space X to colonize space and having sex with a green aliens to create multi-planetary species.
Whatever Captain Kirk can do…
I know when something I have written is not going to be read. I know it instantly. There is a certain fatalism about it. It’s whim like. But sometimes I press enter and send it off anyway. Sometimes it’s all about paying the bills. Sometimes the muse is locked in the canary cage and taken down a coal mine filled with carbon monoxide.
Creativity is all around us and yet my mentors tell me that it’s impossible to be creative all of the time. In the past few months, I have been hitchhiking on the back of a little spaceship of creativity that hurtles through my life every two hours. But is that true? Can I only write creatively for two hours? What is the plausibility of that? Am I a sheep, following the flock that only believes creativity comes in spurts, and writing for 8-12hrs at a time is simply impossible?
I’m not sure.
But I’m testing that theory.
It’s all about trial and error. You visit Alcatraz, you repent and then you hope to not end up back there.
I think it’s all about time. If you breathe, soak in the presence of the world and then take each sentence at a sedentary pace, then creativity will flow like a felt tip pen on a coloring book that has not been touched.
And so it is.
And so it shall be.
It’s time to slam the head of the typewriter. Listen to the ka-ching, and move on to the next one.