There is a familiarity to the sound of keys being struck on a word processor as something new is birthed into the world, welcomed in with the soft da-dehm, the love-child of a click and a thud. Something about the way the cursor moves along the screen, always pre-empting the next letter as life forms on the pages. A smug precision to the way that the word and line count creeps forward, sneaking up on you and then all of a sudden there in all its glory, like a baby after a shockingly fast labour. There's always some cleaning up to be done, because the new born always brings with it that little excess, a part of the umbilical cord of author's notes or just the superfluous fluid adjectives, unnecessary now that your creation is fully alive. And in that moment, the promethean feat required to open wide and create from you this being, as yet neutral and lacking any definition but that which you give it, makes the sound of the keys a little symphony or triumphant concerto in your honour.
Of course, sometimes the miracle falls short. Sometimes, something is lacking, but not just anything, the very stuff of it, the life it should have, And it hits you all at once, like a wave of silence at the abrupt end of the heartbeat of tapped keys. A stillbirth on the page, ended mid sentence. Suddenly, all you can see is why what you had planned is no longer viable, all you can feel is a chokehold of self-loathing as you try to figure out what it was you did wrong. It can't be blamed, since it wasn't even fully an It when this resounding sense of its death overtook you, suffocating, killing it mid-delivery. So, you did something wrong, but what, and how do you go about fixing it?
There's no consideration of stopping there, packing it in, because you've felt the ecstasy of its inception as it took hold, small but already a discernible presence, felt its newness consume you, fill you up, felt yourself swell with potency, convinced that this, this thing you were bringing into the world would change, no, better yet, revolutionize it. There's no addiction stronger than the creator's for who can resist the temptation of being a little deity?
And so we try again and again, agonising over every failure, burying a bit of ourselves in its coffin and mourning for days as we convince ourselves: never again. Until the next time we feel an itch, the urge to get inspired again, to allow ideas to penetrate our very essence, take root and grow in the fertile loins of our imagination and burst forth into the world, demanding attention. So we slave away, surrendering to the emotional whirlpool of fear and pride mixed in equal parts. We sell our souls and our lives for a chance at making a new one. And then we buckle down, we focus and hope.
Every now and then, its even worth it.
Every now and then, it gasps in its first breadth, heaves deeply, and commences being.