Writing From Your Bliss

Have you ever blissed-out on something you wrote? For me – it’s almost always in the first draft of something I am working on, but I can bliss-out over a notion if it is really good. At least, I think it is really good in the moment.

There are two things that are universally true about being in the moment when writing:

1. It’s only awesome to the people involved. When you are writing, that is you and you alone, buddy-boy. In a way, it’s like you just masturbated better than you have ever masturbated before.

2. The second thing is that, no matter how good it seemed in the moment – you are wrong. In the harsh light of forty-eight hours later, what you wrote is not nearly as stellar as you initially thought it was. Sometimes, the beautiful woman you thought you took into your bed turns out to have a penis, and that’s not a good feeling – so I have been told. Ahem.

If those two analogies haven’t destroyed all romantic notions you have about writing, props to you. It definitely gave mine a cold shower, but I still have moments of complete bliss when I write.

Writing Bliss word cloud

I can bliss out, just thinking about a possible situation for a story. That is how fertile my literati loins are, baby.

I heard a public interest news story on the radio – the kind that don’t really qualify as news but are amusing in some way. A couple of hawks had made a nest on the roof of a strip mall. Since eggs were laid, they were very protective and were dive-bombing any customers who tried to approach the shops.

That was the end of the news story in a, “Oh my, isn’t life wacky” kind of way. For me, it was the seed.

I thought, what if these were Bald Eagles, nesting on the roof? And just to be ironic, because the symbol of the US Mail is a Bald Eagle, we make the nest on a post office?

I carry a notepad with me everywhere I go. I jotted down the ideas and possible concepts in a fevered attempt to not forget anything. 

I wrote:

Pair of Bald Eagles make nest, lay eggs, and raise hatchlings on post office in Washington DC, within sight of the Lincoln monument.

BE (abbreviation for Bald Eagle(s)) attack anyone who approaches the post office entrance, thinking they are a threat to their young.

Local news covers the incidents as amusing but treats as a not-newsworthy story. Laughs all around.

Dog is snatched by BE as woman tries to mail a package to her sister. Gets on nightly news and people are torn – is it cool or is it dangerous?

Patriots come out in flag-waving force, protecting the BE. So do environmental activists.

A small child is severely injured by a BE protecting its nest on the PO.

News coverage increases and is severe. It becomes a legal issue – BE are protected and can’t be harmed, but in this situation, are dangerous. What to do?

I stopped there – the bliss had taken me. I know, I know – tomorrow, I will look at this and see the flaws; I’ll see it’s actually mundane. But in that moment earlier today – in that amazing moment, all I could see is fantastic possibilities.

That is the bliss. And I love it.

After the bliss, that’s when the work comes in. But it is the bliss that keeps me banging on the keys after its glow has faded. I want to recapture it. It has always been about the bliss. It will always be about the bliss.

Though I hate “Why I Write” essays, this is why I write. Bliss.

© 2013, Mitch Lavender


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