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Sources of Inspiration: Creativity vs. Practicality

Too often, my desire to write, my creative impulse outstrips my ability to perform.

My hands simply can’t move fast enough to put all the stories into words. Ideas come and go too quickly to transmuted into stories.

I’ve got so many I’ve begun which I’ve put on hold, due to constraints of time or my own physical limits. I can only take sitting for so long. I have other things that need to get done. Many a practical concern awaits, ready to distract me from my manuscript.

Practicalities often dictate what project I choose to focus. I need to have this blog written by this time. I’ve a submission deadline I need to make. I promised I’d work on this particular project during this month.

Whatever I prioritize rises to the top of the pile of Things
to Do. I find myself concentrating on it to the exclusion of everything else.

At the same time, I live for those flashes of shiny, moments when a word, phrase, paragraph, or image catches my eye, kindling a sparkling Idea.

This Idea could become a story if I catch it on time. Such ideas are like soap bubbles. If I don’t catch them in time, they’ll pop. I’ll be left with nothing but the sticky residue of my lost Idea.

This need to catch the Idea drives me out of my bed at odd hours and compells me to carry a notebook. I’ve actually had ideas manifest as soap bubbles in the Shadow Forest in an attempt channel some of my personal mental imagery into story.

I’ve got to be ready for those elusive ideas so they don’t get away.

Often I fail to do more than jot down an immediate idea. I don’t have time to do much more. Not if there’s a big priority project looming over me and breathing down my neck.

It’s painful, putting that idea to the side, still fluttering with the first impulses of solid life, wanting to become something more. I try to go with the creative flow, follow those impulses, only sometimes I can’t.

There’s only so much time I can spend on writing. This forces me to make hard choices on what to allot to that time.

What about you, dear reader (and writer)? Do you have more ideas than you can squeeze into stories? How do you cope with all the practicalities demanding your attention while channeling as much creativity into your work as possible?

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