Thursday, May 2, 2013

Contentedness Kills My Muse

Last night I dreamed in story.

I woke up, clinging to the remnants of the drama my brain unfolded for me, wanting to know what happened next, frustrated that I had been ripped from the story.

In other words, I woke up happy.

This is a far cry from my dreams of late. Dreams of being unable to sleep (ha ha, brain, great sense of humor), dreams of driving and being unable to control my car, dreams of dropping things that really ought not to be dropped. Frustrating dreams that provide no outlet, no escape.

But stories! Dreaming in stories means my brain is where it needs to be.

The last few months have been severely lacking in creativity for me. I've been sick, I've been forced to focus my remarkable powers of obsession on the most mundane of tasks ever (eating--seriously, I have to obsess every hour of the day over eating, and it is so boring I will never forgive food*), and I've been...content.

Maybe some people can only be creative when they are in a "happy" place, but for me, being content kills my need to create. Creation, for me, is about wanting. About longing. About needing to invent something to spin around in my head, a story to fall back on and live in when things are quiet or boring or hard, so that I can do what I need to in real life. Writing is about movement, carrying my brain from one place to another, needing even false momentum for fear of stagnation.

I can want just as much when I am in a happy, exciting period of my life as when I am in a frustrating, difficult period. But when I am perfectly settled, oh, that is the kiss of death.

So, here is to being happily discontent. Here is to the need to create in whatever form. And here is to those happy, happy days when you have both the right kind of discontentedness and enough energy to do something about it.

Here is to story.

*No worries--it's a temporary condition and I am perfectly healthy, I just have to be very careful to maintain that health.


Keshia Swaim said...

I wish I knew what made my muse tick. She seems to be pretty random. But I'm glad you're back in the creative swing! I'm sure I'll love whatever you come up with.

Michelle Wolfson said...

Here here! : )

rockinlibrarian said...

Oh lovely! I feel this way a lot. Especially about the dream thing.

heidikins said...

I am rarely content, and usually dabbling in something or other, and I think those two things go together. Always (for me).

When I *am* content I find I am perfectly fine to go days or weeks without making something, creating something, reading something, etc. And that? That makes me very discontent very quickly...which leads me back down the creating rabbit hole, happy to live underground with all those wonderful imaginary people, places, and things.


Jessa said...

My muse is extraordinarily fickle. I'll get a story idea but no plot or characters or the right opening or the right voice.
I wish I dreamed in story more often.

Whirlochre said...

Restlessness is the best and worst horse to ride. He leaps around and tosses you from the saddle from time to time — but there's wallop in that whinny.

Contentment has nice fur but he won't jump fences, bear Lone Rangers or do any of that Mr Ed thing.

As for the eating — cut out the midnight burgers and take up never eating spaghetti before you've knitted it into a hat.