On Books, Movies, and Inspiration
At this moment I am watching the movie ‘Stuck in Love’. It is the second time in two days that I have watched this film about a family of writers as they deal with their various romantic relationships over the course of a year. It is the 7th time I’ve seen the movie in the last … year?
You probably think this is strange, watching the same story play out over and over again, but there’s something about this particular movie that has an effect on me. It makes me want to write, want to more than anything else, something that is occasionally very difficult for me. Maybe it’s not that it makes me want to write. I’m a writer, at least I consider myself one despite not really being published. I want to write all the time. I suppose normally it’s less about wanting to write, and more about wanting to have written. This story makes me want to write.
To be honest, I’m not even all that certain what it is about the movie that makes me want to write. The story might be about writers, but it’s not really all that much about writing. Maybe it’s the fact that these characters connect so much with books and stories, or maybe it’s because of the way they talk about writing as a sum of your experiences. Maybe it’s just the seriously awesome soundtrack. I really have no idea, but something about it sparks something ephemeral in that part of my brain that loves stories and makes me want to jump up right now and write something.
Of course, there’s a distinct separation between the desire to write and the actual act of doing so. Writing is hard. Really, really hard. At least for me. Words don’t spill out of me like some sort of supernatural force. I have to pull them out of my mind kicking and screaming, forcing them through my fingers and out onto the page. Even something as simple as writing this post about the fact that I have a lot of trouble writing is an exercise in levels of self control and perseverance I sometimes wonder if I possess.
There are times in my life, usually every few months, when I think almost daily “I need to write more.” Really, it’s more “I need to write at all,” but let’s not split hairs. I tell myself I’ll start writing every day. I’ll keep a journal, I’ll blog more. An article a day. I download a journaling app that prompts me every afternoon to write something, anything, but it’s way too easy to click that little ‘x’ in the corner and quiet the nagging. Where is the app that refuses to close until you write something?
They say becoming a writer is a lot like exercise. You need to build up your muscles until it becomes easier to write every day, then easier to write more. Then, before you know it, you’re benching your weight in words.
I never was very good at going to the gym.