Everything you said up there about inspiration? Me too. I've re-read some of my writings and thought to myself "wow, this is exactly like what I wrote over there". I feel like a one-trick pony at times. But, I think inspiration is just a fickle mistress, and sometimes she comes to you, and sometimes she doesn't, and there's not a whole hell of a lot you can do about it. Some people are just more naturally creative.
And god, don't even get me started on the moods and the crying. When I first started to write, I wrote anything I could, just because it was all new and exciting and I wanted to get it out. But when I started reading more, and, more importantly, paying attention to what was good vs. what was drivvle, I found my writing slowing down considerably. I wanted to be as good as those authors whom I looked up to. I suffered a lot of stress, and a lot of angst, and no small amount of tears over it all.
I've hit the point now where I've just put my writing aside, because I was so unhappy trying. Quality over quantity is what I try for now. And if that means I don't write anything for 3 months, then fine. But at least I'm not making myself a weeping mess in the interumn.
I have no idea if any of that helps, or makes sense even, as I'm a little feverish and really should go back to bed. But, I just wanted to say that you are one of those authors I look up to, and I've always found your writing to be lovely and witty and insightful. Rather like yourself.
Now go have that Diet Coke. And that long walk. And get your ass to the gym. The wedding's over; no more excuses for stress-eating.
I absolutely adore you. I'd get more introspective with you but introspection and fevers don't mix. So I'll just put a cool cloth on your forehead and put you in bed. Thank you Molly my love. :)
12.20...are you ready to leave for the gym?
I wish creating came while staring at a blank journal entry page. I do it a lot myself with Tom, and it hardly ever works. Even when something does come, it's never what I want, and so I hide it away to be found months later, when I'm
desperate feeling better about it.
I often try to force creativity (gimme drabble prompts, etc.) and sometimes that works, or at least soothes my block a little bit. A prompt (like you say with the smell of his sheets) is often the greatest gift. But like you, I have trouble with the original idea.
What does work for me is music. Always have music playing while I'm writing ... and I'm constantly surprised where a lyric or a melody might take me. I have soundtracks in my head for all my stories befoer they're even close to finished.
Another thing that helps me is channeling internal frustration through the writing. In a strict fanfic sense, I let my angst live most often in Billy's head, because he's the easiest character for me to write. And there are occasions when I have to write him happy, because that's where the story is going, and afterward I feel better myself. I know that I'm not nearly as good of a writer when I'm in a good mood—I'm often at my most blocked when I'm happy, strangely enough—but I'm content to let my characters push me in the direction of happiness. ;)
I try very hard not to force any writing, but there are times when it just happens. I beat myself down into pulp over it. But like you, I find that the writing is better, clearer, when I stay calm and don't force it. I walked away from a piece I had begun and was enjoying because another author had begun to write and post the exact same thing. I was so angry, Melly. So angry. But I had to let it go, and even to the extent that I deleted the file and kept no hard copies. It was really freeing. I'm glad I didn't try and twist the story and force it to go elsewhere just because someone else was writing something similar.
That situation eventually boiled down for me to an issue of comparison, and I'd been compared to that author too much. I've learned—am still learning—that I can't compare myself too anyone else, and even when I'm reading something amazing and beautiful, I don't feel anymore like the author is "better" than I am (you do know what I mean here, right? It's not a conceit thing—it's an acceptance thing). So many people bring so many different touches to what we all write that comparison shouldn't be any issue anymore. I know it is, but ... I wish it wasn't.
This is not making any sense! *facepalm*
What I'm trying to say is that I think creativity can be a gentle force, a nudge to your shoulder like the scent of someone's sheets ... or it can be an act of some vengeful god, rooting you to your chair until you spill your guts all over a screen or a piece of paper. No matter how or when it comes, we should welcome it and never deny it unless life absolutely demands it. If that work email can wait, but Jack can't, always, always go for Jack.
*makes you a big Diet Coke with lots of ice
and a muffin.