It's been awhile since my last post here I'll admit. I've been preoccupied with getting my creative consultancy, Faint Services Group, up and running and living my life, as I try to do from time to time. The hustle never sleeps, as I like to say.
But about six weeks ago I began reworking a story that I originally wrote as a short some 12ish years ago, inspired by a trip to the Canal Street post office where I spied a couple in front of me and for whatever reason the words: "They would often wear their respective wedding bands so no one would wonder"...popped into my head. Over the next few years I would go on to develop this thought into a short story that I would ultimately not like. I've since decided to see what the characters were up to and rewrite the character's Meredith and Elliot's story, for they have never left my consciousness. So in mid-April I put pen to paper–or fingers to the keyboard, as it were–and began recreating their story only to get stuck. After twenty or so pages my mind drew a blank. A big one. In that negative space I realized that perhaps I need to read more before I can continue to write. (This has happened before and a healthy reading break has always broken my block.)
As I've never been the kind of writer who writes everyday, as that method has never worked for me, I decided to take a step back and focus on reading for a while. I subscribe to a barrage of periodicals (all the major fashion glossies and a few more higher-browed reads: The Atlantic, New Yorker, New York, The Paris Review) and ordered up a few not-really-beach-reads from Amazon: Graham Greene, Philip Roth, John Updike, Rachel Kushner and Salman Rushdie, along with fun reads by Nancy Thayer and Ruth Reichl.
I began to read in earnest and feel closer now to revisiting Meredith and Elliot. What are they up to? I couldn't tell you, but I will be able to soon thanks to the literary inspiration I've gotten as of late.
Basically, everyone's process is different. Some people can write everyday without fail, and others, like me, sometimes need to take a step back when we're blocked and allow ourselves the time to read other bodies of work in hopes that it inspires our own. And now as I gear up for my rapidly approaching trip to Greece, I'm pleased to know that my mind will be flooded with a diverse array of stories as I partake in a bit of beach laissez-fairin' that will contribute to enriching my overall writing experience when I return.