Well, I was all set. I was ready to sit down and pound away at my keyboard for no less than 30 of the 72 hours available to me over the weekend. I prepped my mind, I prepped my body, and I centered, focused, prayed, breathed and put myself into the Lotus Position. (Okay, okay — no I didn’t, but that’s because it would’ve meant a trip to the hospital.)
I was ready to write.
Here I am, 72 hours later, and I haven’t written a word. This is the first thing I’ve done since I left work on Friday.
Actually, I’m exaggerating. I banged out a sample idea, sort of a “feeler” piece, for the winner of my latest kiriban on my DeviantART page. But … the idea’s there, the plot’s not, and I don’t know how much time to invest in writing something for someone who just happened to guess right about what sort of work I was going to post next. She’s a good friend, and I love her to death, but the last time I did this I derailed myself with my WIP and haven’t really been able to get the train back on track. So I’m in a slump, number one; and I’m not exactly overflowing with ideas, number two. My beautiful, loving, brilliant and unfailing wife sent me a newspaper article she hoped would knock something loose — and it did — but I haven’t been able to form the full … thing in my head. You know — the “thing”? You writers know what I mean. You’ve got a ghost of an idea, something lurking, but you can’t pull it out and look at it well enough to put it into words yet. Right? Or am I stupid and alone?
Anyway, here I am without anything written. I can’t remember the last time I had this wicked a writer’s block going, but then — I can’t remember trying to write under circumstances as stressful as these before. (Yes, something ELSE happened. This is the third consecutive time something has subverted our attempts to get back on our feet since I’ve started working my new job. UGH. Don’t worry; like constipation and bladder stones, this too shall pass.) So, I don’t have a point of reference, because, as bad as things got in our far-too-recent-to-be-comfortable-with past, I wasn’t writing then.
So, I’ve got to find some way of doing something different about getting out of my writer’s block. I’ve had awesome suggestions, like reading more (time’s an issue, but I do what I can — except this weekend, when I didn’t even bother), taking the NaNoWriMo approach and just throw words at the wall as fast and furious as possible and see what happens, writing poetry, and re-reading my old work (which is hideous — I thought about re-working something I’ve had sitting around for about 10 years and when I looked it over I realized I’d have to almost entirely re-write the stupid thing. I was so proud of it, too! HA!). All great suggestions, but they didn’t work, at least not yet.
And, what I did write seemed … flat. Lifeless. Just … bad, I guess. I wasn’t happy with it in anyway, except for one line. I liked the one line, so I’ll probably take it and work into something else. But man alive, I’m jammed beyond anything I can recall before. It’s not like I’ve written myself into a corner, either. I just can’t turn out anything at all. I haven’t any idea why.
All things considered, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. My problem is, I start thinking I’m dead creatively speaking. I’ve got nothing left in me. I’m out of ideas and the ones I’ve had have run their course. I start feeling like I started too late, didn’t go far enough fast enough, and have squandered my writing life away. Now, there’s nothing left in me to write. Pretty silly, I know, and I’m not looking for someone to blow some sunshine where the sun don’t shine, I’m just saying how it feels. And the longer I stay in this slump, the worse those feelings get. “Worse” meaning more intense, I think.
How I address this is going to decide whether I’m a writer or not. How I get through the bad times, the dry times, the bouts of block … good writers, strong writers, find a way. Bad, weak writers don’t … they succumb, they complain, they whine, they lean on their friends and associates, they … ooh, crap, waitaminnit, I’m starting to sound like it’s a done deal and I already know which column I belong in.
It may be true. It may be that I’m just not a very good writer. But I think this is a test of my mettle. I think this is a test of my ability to write my way through the desert, so to speak. It’s like going through feast or famine … this being the famine part. So, how to get through?
Well, I’m going to take all the wonderful advice offered me so far and see what I can do with it. Maybe nothing, but if I don’t keep my fingers moving over the keys, it’s a certainty nothing will happen, better or worse. So I’ll try and keep them moving. (For the record, I really wish I had a laptop I could use on the train. That’s good writin’ time lost to me, and sometimes it’s frustrating. UGH.)
This week’s going to be tough, though. I have to try and make up for the lost pay of the holiday and the only way I can do that is by putting more hours in. So, I’ll try to sneak writing time in around my other duties and hope for the best.
At any rate, that’s what I did this weekend — contemplated my navel. What’d you all do? Any great barbecues I missed out on? Did any of you miss me while you were partying and remembering our fallen veterans? Hmm?
God bless, all, and I hope you had TONS of fun!
PS – I know this post sucked. Sorry. I’m just trying to keep the blog moving, but interesting would be helpful. I’ll try and do better next time. 😉 -JDT