In the chapter, Phoenix Rising, I describe paranormal inspiration. The character awakens from a dream and instantly starts writing without hesitation, like she had described herself doing in Phoenix Dreaming: “I picture myself seated comfortably, long after midnight, a cat asleep beside me, my fingers effortlessly tapping out word after beautiful word onto the glowing screen. My mind fearlessly opening to the page, revealing my deepest thoughts faster than I can type them.”

I have experienced this kind of inspirational writing, during which I felt more like I were channeling the story than creating it, once in my life. (I’ll save what I wrote during that experience for a different post.) The experience exhilarated, humbled, and perplexed me. It also eluded me: I have never succeeded in repeating it.

Frankly, my typical experience writing feels more like my two experiences giving birth than creative channeling: tediously prolonged, exhaustingly labourious, and intensely uncomfortable—hence the preface to my novel, Birth of a Story.

Occasionally, I half-awaken around 3am and toss-and-turn as my mind churns over creative solutions to my next chapter’s dilemma. Sometimes, the solutions still sound inspired in the morning and other times they fall flat.

For me, writing requires persistent patience and stoic determination. Will it become easier with practice? I bloody-well hope so. I’ll let you know. In the meantime, onward…one word at a time.