“There’s no rule on how it is to write. Some days it comes easily and perfectly. Sometimes it is like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” — Ernest Hemingway; 1953
As both of my readers here know, I have written a bit lately about the creative process, or lack thereof. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned in a blog post that the poet Julia Vinograd compared writing, when things were going badly, to falling, as when things were going well it was much like flying. Shortly after that post, I came across the above quote from Old Hem’ himself, a man who no doubt had some good days writing as well as some bad ones. I’d copied these words into my notebook, under ‘inspirational quotes’, and forgotten about them. Not one to wimp out on a tough writing project, Hemingway didn’t take a day off to recoup at the day spa, meditate or to prune his bonsai tree. Nope, when the writing got rough, the Old Man got tough, by blasting through at all costs.
In any case, this quote resonates with me today. Earlier, as I was trying to find the perfect blog post to fill my weekly void I was drawing a blank. Maybe it’s the summer heat here in South Florida, or maybe I’ve inhaled too much of the smoke from the fires that are blazing in the Everglades a few miles distant, or maybe I’m distracted by the latest headline grabbing, senseless shooting, I don’t know, but today I decided to drill the holes and blast my way through.
That said, I am wondering if any of my fellow bloggers find that their motivation and creativity tends to ebb and flow with any kind of regularity. Could it be related to the cycles of the moon, the changing of the seasons, exposure to sunlight, or maybe it is related to some unexplained cosmic force? A writer friend told me that that he worked at his creative best for only about one week per month. The remaining three weeks of the month he felt that he was not working at his creative best, although his work output remained fairly constant. The longer I write, the more it seems there is some sort of regular pattern to creativity, although I cannot isolate it to one week per month.
If either of you have any thoughts on this, feel free to comment here.
Now, back to work for me…I have some holes to drill and charges to plant.