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Are we allowed to grumble in the lounge? About that moment when the solution to the conundrum dawns, the words form, the plot solution beckons, and friends or family say ' what about next Sunday?' or something, or need the Hoover fixing, And it's gone. That perfect turn of phrase that sorts out your dilemma has evaporated. I could murder.

  • Some of my best ideas or solutions to a particular problem occur to me some time during the night when I’m barely conscious. I guess they float in when I’m relaxed. Scribbling a note down releases me from fretting that I will have forgotten it by morning, so I can sleep again. So I would agree, always have a pen or phone notes handy. 

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    • Great idea, Angela. BUT! I've tried this, regularly making midnight notes. Then I eagerly check in the morning to see: "Yes, could do!", "What about the spare spanner?", "Say it gain, it's obvious!" And so on.

      Actually those are all made up, but they make the point. What might have been clear to an addled, sleepy brain is a load of old codswallop to an alert morning brain. 

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    • Hi, R.J.

      Instead of murder...

      In her on-line writing course, Joyce Carol Oates says that the greatest enemy of writing is being interrupted by other people. In addition to being such a respected author, she has taught writing at Princeton for 40 years and  has probably had a lot of experience with the problem through others' dilemmas as well as her own.

      As I've watched writers for years, including myself, I've often felt that we could reduce those interruptions (including interruptions of plans, like "what about next Sunday?"). But it can mean resistance, irritation, maybe even rejection from others who mean a lot to us. That prospect can be just about as scary as showing your writing to a group for critiques. It can mean the willingness to be unpopular with certain people, if necessary.

      But if these others really respect you, then they ought to respect that you're doing what you love and that you set certain boundaries in order to accomplish it. It might means changing certain patterns in relationships. It might take some patient education in the beginning... 

      Do you think that this could help to reduce the evaporations? I hope so.

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      • Ah.  I hope so.  Mine are wraiths, cheerfully tormenting me with ideas then drifting off into the distance.  I'm banking on them drifting back again.  I take the point about drawing boundaries, and try to do so, but I need to hang on to sentience too.😉 

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        • You may grumble, but revenge is unadvisable - especially if it involves Eric's "spare spanner".

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          • I do have some lead piping as it happens - looking for a purpose. . .trouble is, my interrupters are only sufficiently substantial to distract me.  Once I swing out, they are gone. I stare at the screen again. 

            As Eric says.  It had something to do with magistrates this morning, but whatever for, I have no clue.

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