Reading Inspiration Gone Wrong

Today, I finished Virginia Woolf’s “The Waves” in my backyard with three cups of tea, accompanied by my sister’s dog Xander and my cat Luna. I established that today was the day I would finally finish it. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the story — not one of my favorites — but it was a very slow read and it was hard to follow the characters. I continued trying to keep the six main characters straight while also grasping Woolf’s concepts at the same time. It is a stream of consciousness story written through the eyes of each character all rolled into one novel without chapter separations, except for beautiful ocean/wave imagery in italicized letters to differentiate between the characters’ stages of life.

As a writer, I am constantly mimicking author’s writing styles of those I am currently reading. Toward the last fourth of this story, I was finding myself inspired to write a stream of consciousness piece about characters I have had bouncing in my head over the years. Instead I stuck to my reading goal and forced myself to finish it without any breakfast or brunch. When  11:30 am rolled around (mind you, I started reading around 8 am) I finally finished the last sentence and breathed a sigh of relief. Still inspired to write but absolutely starving, I decided to cook myself some organic Moroccan style rice, fold/hang up my clean laundry, and shower before my dentist appointment at 3 pm. By the time I completed all of those tasks, I had two hours to spare, but my inspiration and ideas were missing.

I stared at my computer for awhile, opened and closed Facebook and Gmail, waiting for the motivation to come back, but it never did. So instead I am writing this blog entry, complaining about these moments that seem to happen to me more than not.

It’s really too bad, because when I read novels and pick up an author’s writing style, my short stories tend to come out crisp the first round; words seem to type themselves in Microsoft Word and, sometimes, I don’t even stop for typos. It’s like writing my own steam of consciousness piece every time.

What are your thoughts?