Silk’s post #20 — You’re looking at the reason I’m late with this post, illuminated in Technicolor. You’re also looking at the reason I’ve made little progress on my book in the past 12 days. Oh, let’s be honest. NO progress.
None at all.
There are the obvious reasons. A two-week vacation on Maui doesn’t come cheap, even when you fly on points, and every minute spent sitting at this desk while the sun shines irresistibly out beyond the lanai feels like a very expensive minute to waste indoors. Then there’s the, mostly unspoken, pressure to be a better travel companion for my patient husband (fortunately, or unfortunately, he has his own iPad addictions to fall back on).
And the most obvious reason of all: girls just wanna have fun. In the sun. At the pool. On the beach. With my hair dripping wet from a swim, and a hibiscus behind my ear.
But let’s put that all aside for a minute.
Yes, I could write at night, though this might not really be the most productive idea given my sundowner consumption on this trip. The “go with the mai tai flow” philosophy is, at least for me, incompatible with the drive to write. At least to write something that will allow me to respect myself in the morning. After a day of sun, I’m lucky if I can read a few pages of a good book before I fall asleep – let alone write a few.
I could also take the laptop down to the pool deck or out on the beach. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? Waves providing the gentle sound track for creativity, and occasionally splashing droplets on the keyboard. The sunlight … well, the sunlight making the screen completely unreadable. And the happy sounds of children playing on the beach. And screeching, and crying, and kicking sand all over the computer. Right. Scratch that.
But the truth is, I could overcome all these somewhat manufactured problems if I was really in the mood to write. In fact, nothing would stop me.
And now we get to the real issue. Mood: a mental or emotional state; a disposition to do something; a prevalent atmosphere or feeling.
It’s the vaguest, mushiest of definitions for one of the most powerful of forces determining human action. It sounds frivolous, inconsequential, insubstantial. Mood seems like an arbitrary, irrational condition that can turn on a dime, and is therefore not really a valid excuse for doing or not doing something.
A mood is something to get yourself into, or pull yourself out of. To overcome with reason. To just get over.
But mood doesn’t work that way. It’s a complex, compelling force that shifts colour like a butterfly’s wing. And we often don’t really know why. I think mood is deep in the brainstem. There’s no use trying to get the cortex to have a little chat with it, make it see reason.
You’re in the mood to write, or party, or eat ice cream, or have sex … or you aren’t.
And not only individuals have moods. Whole populations have moods. Events have moods. Places have moods. Books have moods.
Moods are like emotional weather.
And I’m hoping that I get in the mood to write during the few days I’ll be home before our deadline. I need a huge brainstorm of in-the-moodness.