As I was finishing up the final manuscript revision of The Opus of Amateur Radio Knowledge and Lore, I realized that every thougtht I'd ever had was incorporated in the work. This was rather disconcerting after realizing the entire volume was well under 400 pages, including sidebars and appendices.
What's a writer to do when he's written everything?
The most direct answer is to simply reformat the brain and start over. Unfortunately, the functional demarcations of one's brain aren't as clearly defined as they are in a computer. A computer can boot up to some rudimentary functionality without a hard drive even being installed. Not so, the brain. The part of the brain that enables you to write poetry is likely to be pretty well tangled up with the part that runs your liver. From what I've read, the liver is sort of important to life, which is why it starts with live.
Not to digress, but have you noticed that you have spare parts in your body for things you can really live without, but you only have one of each organ that can really give you a bad day if it goes south? How come you have a spare eyeball and a spare ear but not a spare heart or a spare pancreas? What's up with that? Anyway...back to the matter at hand.
Some medical types believe that electroshock therapy can reformat the brain, but this tends to leave one stupid after the fact. I see no need to artificially accelerate the stupiidification of my brain. I worked hard enough to get it where it is.
One could try intentionally forgetting things...especially those thiings that keep cropping up in one's writing that contribute to the trite and the cliched. It's a lot of work to write something that's not trite and cliched. I wonder if standing on one's head will allow the deep, dark, original thoughts to drain toward brain casing where they can be more readily accessed. I might try that.
I don't do drugs or alcohol, (much to the surprise of many beholders of my prose) and from what I've been able to discern, these only make the writer THINK hes' being more original. Well, I do drink a lot of coffee.....but I don't think it makes me any more creative....just more prolific. It allows me to reproduce the trite and the cliched with greater speed and volume.
A third alternative is plagiarism. This is not as immoral as it sounds. King Solomon reminds us that "Nothing is new under the Sun..." so it's unlikely that anything you can conceivably plagiarize was original in the first place. At least under the Sun. However, I'm not sure Solomon ever had to contend with copyright law....or publishing houses for that matter. He merely uttered his wisdom, and his faithful scribes wrote it down for all perpetuity...no agents or editors to gum up the works.
But even Solomon, in all his wisdom, reached the point of diminished returns. He wrote in Ecclesiastes that, "Of the writing of books there is no end, and much study is weariness of the flesh."
And yet despite this, I somehow feel oddly obligated to keep wearying the flesh.
Causes Eric Nichols Supports
Free Burma Rangers, Partners Ministries (Thailand), Literacy council of Alaska, Access Alaska.