Idea enters brain. There is a desperate lunge to the computer. Words are hastily typed. The first chapter is completed.
It is GENIUS.
Idea continues to swirl around brain. It digs its claws in, convincing its host that it is a Good Idea, a Great Idea, that people will read it Voraciously, that it will break all of the Official Publishing Records. There will be a Ticker Tape Parade thrown in its honor. A shelf will be cleared to make way for all of its Pulitzer Prizes. Another chapter is written.
It is SUBLIME.
Chapters are reread. They are neither genius nor sublime. They are barely English.
Idea is reworked. Idea is pitched to spouse, who says it makes no sense. There is much pouting. Spouse attempts to be helpful by suggesting that it might make more sense if certain parts of it were tweaked.
Idea is tweaked. Idea is retweaked. Idea no longer resembles its original state. Idea is getting better.
Idea consumes life. Brainstorming occupies every waking minute. Notebooks are scribbled in. Food is consumed with less frequency. Social media is abandoned. Long walks are taken. Long showers are taken. Long, dead-eyed staring-off-into-space happens. Impromptu road trips to the beach are embarked upon, in the hopes that dead-eyed staring at sand and water and many miles of highway will bear fruit.
Characters are sketched out. Worlds are built. Stories unfold. Plot twists are twisted. A kernel of hope begins to emerge: this might be something.
Sleep is a thing of the past. Brain can no longer be turned off during designated slumber hours. More dead-eyed staring into the darkness, while brain continues to spin and write and plot-twist and pick, pick, pick at the details. There is a desperate flight to the couch, where more tossing and turning and picking happens. The cat watches and purrs, and judges.
The transition into a zombie-like state is complete. A blog post is written bemoaning the torture of it all. The zombie wonders whether all of this anguish is worth it, but deep down knows that it is, it always has been, and it always will be.
Costco is visited. A vat of maximum-strength cheeseballs is purchased.