Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Inspiration/Block (for the writer) (05/20/10)
TITLE: Something Unseen
By Theresa Santy
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“Yes,” I answer to the friend, or relative, or stranger, or dog, “but only because I can’t help it,” I say. I claim that I’m forced by something unseen to cross the boundary from existing as a person who is not a writer, to existing as a person who is a writer.
Occasionally, the conversation leads to some sort of lecture on this intangible thing. When I’m rushed I give the simple answer, which is God, as I believe much of my writing is divinely encouraged. But when time is not an issue I explore the energy which causes a blank screen set before me, to transform into one filled with thousands of characters. I elaborate on that which motivates me to journey into the realm of writing.
I describe my wild imagination, and how I elevate the sport of people-watching to an advanced level. I assert that I don’t simply observe a person, but instead I conjure a biography packed with action, suspense, and conflict. But my invented stories often fall short. Indeed, dozens of hours have evaporated while I’ve sat in front of a computer screen or sheet of paper, trying to finish a scene. With a sigh, I conclude that my creativity, left alone, is not sufficiently inspiring.
I talk about ancient trees standing firm, rushing streams ignoring obstacles, and wild herds roaming the Great Plains, all of which have the power to arouse thought and wonder. I ask, “Can anyone breathe in the glory of nature without being overcome by the knowledge of an all-powerful God?” But even this, I announce, does not necessarily inspire me to create lengthy groupings of prose.
Then I try to explain that it is something else that pushes me toward uninhibited written expression, and causes thoughts to flow without stopping from my brain and onto a document: It’s being certain I know how something is going to end, and then watching God flip the story upside-down. It’s digesting the inconceivable perfection of an orchid, and knowing man has tried for over two hundred years to clone and improve it. It’s noticing my young daughter happily scarf donuts and pizza moments before shopping for a swimsuit, then listening to a tale of a woman fighting anorexia. It’s struggling to hold on through the storm of God’s will, searching for lost valuables, and then looking up to find a rainbow.
This leads to a confession that in the midst of tension between God’s plan and the human condition, I find inspiration. At the intersection of life and truth I find motivation, and an unstoppable power which moves my pen, and pushes me toward a place, where I can no longer keep the words locked inside, and then, because of my creations—pages upon pages of written creations—I must call myself a writer.
Then the puzzled friend, or relative, or stranger or dog will usually shout or bark something random, in an attempt to change the conversation.
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