Thank Heavens for the invention of the shower. Soothing water drops massage and alleviate us. Our bodies relax, along with body oils and dirt, stress seems to wash off.
But, there is something else a shower can be for a writer— inspirational magic. The cobwebs clear up. I have gained insight, clarification, ideas, and mentally solved problems while in the shower. I can’t say how many home improvement projects have been conceived then, to my husband’s chagrin.
What is it about a shower that so inspires us? They say it is the negative ions that fill the air once we turn on a shower or go near a waterfall or go to the beach, that give us that sense of clear thinking and happiness. I would love to sit by the ocean or waterfall, pen and pad or laptop in hand. According to WebMD, negative ions are like vitamins in the air that positively affect our brains.*
For me, my subconscious gets in touch with my inner writer then. Ideas flow faster than I can track them. They’re clear, they’re creative, and they make sense. Sometimes, they are even fascinating, or I can recall a forgotten comment someone once made, or a thought I had long ago. I have learned to lasso these inspirational ideas by repeating them to myself over and over. When I do this, I manage to retain them until I can jot them down, or the ideas or inspiration disappear as soon as I come out of the shower.
I also find my mind busily writing during those wee hours of the morning when I can’t sleep. Usually it hits me between two and three in the morning. There I lay, my body sluggish, wanting nothing more than to slip off to the land of the sleeping, while my mind continues on overdrive. If I don’t write my thoughts down then, they will not only drive me nuts, but they will disappear by morning. I end up hopping out of bed, grabbing a pen and notebook and jotting them down, sometimes filling several pages.
It seems while I am asleep, and free of purposeful thinking, my mind has the freedom to attempt to create, solve problems and make better sense of life. As when in the shower, many projects have been birthed in the middle of the night when I rather be sleeping. Once in a while, I get one of those inspired moments while I am awake and not in the shower. I have written many poems that way. The thoughts flow so quickly I struggle to keep up with them.
I signed up for a short-story writer’s course. It promised I would have two fictional short stories, up to 4500 words each, completed by then of the course. It began in May and will be over in August. I didn’t think I had fiction in me, actually. I took the course more for the experience of it, and to teach me to be more creative. I think deep down inside, it was just another deterrence from writing the memoir I have been working on. I find it difficult to write about such painful things.
“I don’t think I am creative enough to write fiction, my mind’s blank!” I told my husband one day feeling dejected, and thinking I wasted several hundred dollars on the course.
“Of course you are!” He said. “I have seen your creativity.”
He helped me brain storm. We came up with all sorts of subjects and characters. My confidence resurrecting, I used some of his suggestions and combined these with my own, throwing them around in my mind for a couple of days. I also said a few prayers. Then just like that, one evening the writing but bit me. I wrote and wrote till my hand cramped, and in about 20 minutes, had my whole rough draft down on a notepad. I read it to my husband.
“I like it,” he said. I tweaked a thing here and there and turned it in. The online instructor was very encouraging and told me she really liked it! In a few weeks the story will be complete. I’m thinking of making this my first short story e-book through Amazon. I would love to hear of anyone’s experience with Amazon e-books. I welcome any suggestions.
By ~ Elizabeth Yalian 2013 ©http://hiseyeisonthissparrow.com.