The Art of Inspiration (or lack thereof)

What is it about a computers that make my mind as blank as the screen when I sit down to write? Why do I lay in bed desperately trying to fall asleep but unable to quiet the ideas bouncing about? Why can I compose in my head while I'm cooking or washing dishes or taking a shower, but I cannot use my fingers and my brain at the same time?

Of course, I can't use my mouth and my brain at the same time, so maybe that one is not quite so surprising.

And, it doesn't matter what I write, from chapters in a book to personal letters to answering email in some sort of coherent fashion. There's a turn somewhere between the input and the output that I can't quite navigate at times. In point of fact, when answering email, I usually hit the send button before my brain engages, so I end up sending addenda, corrections, retractions, post scripts, ad infinitum.

This is how it works. Today is missionary letter day, so I resolve to write a decent one. I even know what I'm going to write. I sit down at the computer, and of course, I have to check my email. There's usually a fair bit of that, so I have to delve into the politics of the day and express my trite, inconsequential opinions lest anyone be in doubt that I have any (ha!). Then, it's imperative that I check out the absolutely last day of free shipping and internet only offers at Coldwater Creek or L. L. Bean or Old Navy. Someone from Relief Society has a question of utmost import, so that has to be researched and answered.

And, look at that! Lily Evans has thrown a sheep at me and Cami has written on my wall and Dixie says it's my turn at Scrabble and Julie has beaten my best time on puzzle 19582237, so, off to Facebook I go. It would be extremely rude to ignore such gestures of good will. With 165 friends, there's always someone wanting something. Hmm. Flora wants to be my friend. Flora?? Oh! I know you. You're Paul's best friend's second cousin once removed. Silly me.

D2 says Facebook is a waste of time. He doesn't know what he's talking about.

After meeting all my social obligations, I decide to eat breakfast (sometime closing on noon), and one can't write while eating, so the only thing to do is solve puzzles on Puzzlebee. There goes another hour. Then, while zoning out on that, an idea pops in my mind for one of the blogs. Gotta take care of that while it's in my head! And research! People want to know these things and I'd better be right if I'm going to tell them. And, maybe just one game of mahjong. Just one. I promise.

Did I mention that I'm the website coordinator/approver/whatever for my ward? Can't slack off on that responsibility. Notifications have been sent. An activity for the Primary has been added to the calendar and needs approval. While I'm at it, new callings have been issued. Releases have been made. The leadership rolls need updating.

I'm also the ward dry-pack specialist and there's that whole post-Ike preparedness evaluation I need to write, but first, I'll write the letter.

And another thing: Christmas is coming. I better order the presents for the daughters-in-law while I still can. They tend to disappear closer to Christmas. One must research, shop, compare, evaluate, bid, rebid, re-re-bid. It's exhausting.

Maybe just one more game of mahjong.

The clock sneaks up and bashes me upside the head. I load WordPerfect. (My rabid hatred of MS Word is another subject entirely). I stare at the screen, then pop up to put some clothes in the washer, wash the two bowls and a three spoons that are in the sink, get something out of the freezer for dinner, make my bed (really make it, not just tug the blankets straight when we get up in the morning), and pull out the Swiffer to get the sticky spots off the kitchen floor.

And, of course, the entire time stuff I will write bounces around in my head. I think my ideas are like vermin. The light goes on and everything scurries back into the walls.

Ten hours later, here I sit writing about how I can never write. Dinner's over, the dishes are done, the laundry is fluffed, folded and put away, and Dallas (the hubby) has retreated into the bedroom to sleep in front of NCIS. I guess I better start that letter. I think I procrastinate until he's home just so I appear industrious. It also helps to have something quiet to do to keep from disturbing his nap.

Plus, he doesn't catch me playing mahjong until my eyes glaze over.

Dang. Eight o'clock. Time to take a shower so my hair will be dry before I go to bed. I'll write the letter after that.

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