Now I Know How Wiley Coyote Felt
edited: Friday, March 02, 2007
By D L Johnson
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Friday, March 02, 2007
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Originally printed in Art With Words
No Heavy Lifting-Now I Know how Wiley Coyote Felt
In the process of writing my column for this quarter and getting the piece in on time, I have written three columns; more precisely, they have written me with exasperation, frustration and a plethora of exhaustive ideas.
My first attempt was when my head developed a great political theme but when the neurons finally reached my fingers to attack the keyboard everything went to well…you know where.
Then there was the morbid thought of once again discussing death; that too, died on the vine.
Finally, in the hopes of pulling together a treatise that would go down in history as one of my wittiest yet undeniably pointed attacks on some great social issue, which I was sure, would be righted, simply because I wrote it; there I stood, like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming Hummer that had no intention of stopping. Once again, I felt like road kill. Now I know how Wiley Coyote felt during his futile chase of The Road Runner.
Just when I thought all was lost I had the good fortune of chatting with Dave. I know that some of you are asking a really valid question; who the hell is Dave?
Dave is an artist that owns a gallery downstairs from my office. We, our radio station as in the elite ‘we,’ are located in the heart of the ‘artsy fartsy’ part of town. Downstairs from my office you can go east or west two or three blocks and run into more art galleries then you would find in the Soho District…OK, an exaggeration, but you get the point. Earlier this week as I was leaving for the day, I saw Dave at his easel, cleaning up and preparing to close his shop.
“Dave” I asked, “do you have time for a question?”
“Sure” he said, “what’s up?”
“I’m just checking to see if artists suffer the same frustrations that writers experience.”
“Suffer in what way?” he asked while rubbing his beard like he was Dr. Sigmund Freud.
“Well look, what do you do when you need inspiration?”
All along I thought he was mocking me, then, suddenly, he got this grin on his face and said, “Tell me, what ‘inspiration’ means?” Evidently I asked the right question, because, without waiting for my response, he broke into a short session on what makes him tick.
“Inspiration comes from the word inspired, right?” I nodded in agreement. And ‘inspired’ comes from the root ‘in-spirit’ which means that for me when I start a project I know with clarity what this project is going to be like at conclusion.” In other words, he said, with everything I do, from beginning to end I am in the spirit of that moment.
Then he asked, “Does that ever happen to me?” “Sure,” I said, “but occasionally it seems like everything comes out reading like it was real crap.”
“I’m going ‘out on a limb’ here, Dave, but all this sounds very metaphysical, is it?”
I kept thinking to myself, all I want to do is write my little stories and create my poetry, nothing else, why is this so hard? We parted company for the night but I couldn’t stop thinking about how Dave works his way through that demon we call the creative process.
The next day I decided that I was going to put my other column attempts on the back burner and hopefully, do the things that have worked for me in the past. Here are the three goals that I will keep in mind for future efforts.
Everyone please stand and repeat after me.
‘I will stay true to my vision’
‘I will constantly challenge myself to do the tough stuff, even when it hurts.’
'I will always listen and be in-spirit with my surroundings’
At this point I’m glad I stopped to speak with Dave for a few minutes, perhaps in your neck of the woods you have a Dave or Deborah…or someone that can help keep your writing on track.
When we find that source it opens up all kinds of possibilities and eliminates any heavy lifting. Perhaps someone should clue Wiley Coyote about this plan.