How does one write, after all? How does one pluck a story out of thin air, fill it with homes and cities with streets and people? Where does it all come from? Dreams? Voices? Spirit? Or people who stick their faces in front of you and say things that move you, shock you, make you sick, make you lusty and bold?
I am a writer. I am working on a novel. My first novel. And I have no idea how to do it. But something is driving me … like those monks who are trying to tell me their stories. I feel duty-bound to write them down, but I am in new territory, with no known geography and only a few shifting landforms — like monastic habits in the darkness.
I have created this place for myself. I call it the Inspiratorium — a cross between the words Inspiration and Scriptorium. A scriptorium is literally a “place for writing” and commonly associated with a room in medieval monasteries devoted to the copying of manuscripts by monks. And this is where I put myself for inspiration … a silent place where I can listen to the monks (they are unused to speaking, so they tend to whisper) and work with them.
The Inspiratorium is my writing room, but it’s also for you, dear reader, to follow the trials and inspirations of this would-be scribe. The monks are earnest souls, but sometimes a small smile betrays their downcast faces. You really should meet them someday. They’re a little mysterious, but they carry great wisdom, for the most part. You’ll like them! (To start, you can learn a lot about them by reading the excerpts from the Holy Rule of St. Benedict in the sidebar of this page).
Tell me what you think! I invite your questions, comments, feedback. Keep me honest, keep me inspired. The writing life is a lonely life!