There are a select few that I occasionally check in with–“So…how’s the blog coming along?” You can only see your work in a particular way, and any writer needs a handful of honest folk to set you straight. When I last asked my husband, he said “It’s good”. But he says “good” in that goooood, where there is a significant pitch in the dead center of all those O’s. There’s a chocolate cheesecake kind of ‘good’, and then there’s awkward one-night-stand kind of ‘good’. And his good was not sounding desserty in the slightest.
“…there’s just a lot about you saying how hard it is to write”.
“Well…yes…that’s sort of the deal with the blog”
“Yea, it’s mentioned in the tagline”.
He shrugs. “Hmm, never mind then, it’s good”. And there were no superfluous letters as he uttered the word.
And that is the point: to combat writers block! To write daily! To make it part of the routine! To cultivate thoughts and shape them on the page! It’s about harassing my scattered thoughts and finding a solid thread to guide me towards a tangible article of writing. It’s also an exercise in exploring different topics–seeing what an audience responds to–(favorite feedback from a younger reader: “I like when you compare your childhood to other shit”). For lack of a better word, this is practice. My brain is wearing a little sweat band, flexing it’s muscles, making things like thought, focus and action happen. Mentally, it can get very sweaty. And a result of the inexperienced daily writer, there is potential to just unload some serious stream-of-consciousness drivel day after day, and it’s the equivalent to being at a chic luncheon and having a big hunk of spinach stuck between your teeth. I just need someone to tell me to check myself before I wreck myself.
This practice of writing daily makes me think about Julia Cameron‘s “The Artist’s Way“, which is a book that symbolizes my own deep-seeded creative blockage. This book is designed to reach into one’s self, and find your find your ‘true creative artist self’. (In a nutshell). Two aspects of the program include ‘the artist’s date’– once a week you do something that you love, but you do it alone; second is the ‘morning pages’, where each day you write–with a pen on paper–three pages of stream of conscious thoughts. And this is the first thing you are meant to do each day.
Yikes. That is a lot of pressure.
I’ve started the book a number of times, but I’ve never finished it. Of course with the morning pages, you aren’t meant to share or re-read them, and I suppose the point is to just gush your every naked thought without self consciousness. When blogging the way I do, you are laying your personal shit out for dozens upon dozens of people. You have to fight the urge to censor yourself, because it becomes inauthentic. And then it’s not any good at all.
I never resent the task of writing, but its not uncommon to just stare at the screen in the same way I just sort of stare at the coffee maker at 430am. When not staring at the blankness…it’s about looking anywhere else. In my office there is a window–which doesn’t overlook much, so I bask in the natural light and stare up up a stacked cork board. I don’t want to go and throw a term like “inspiration board”, but it is a board covered in things that (ahem) inspire me.
Everyone needs a visual happy place, especially when you are championing procrastination.
I know my brain is on the fritz as there is an awful lot of “…”
The funny thing is…
The trouble I’m having with…
There’s a lot of half baked, partially typed sentences happening here. And not nearly enough pictures. This is another problem–you get so damned bored with the thoughts inside your head. If not bored–annoyed– as if your train of thought is some well meaning albeit excessively chatty seat mate on a plane ride. Blathering away when all you’d like to do is flip through a magazine, watch a movie or take a nap. Or worse, when you talk to this person for a certain period, but want to get on with said magazine or movie. It’s a difficult transition, to go from chatting pleasantly to ceasing pleasantries. This is also a struggle–finishing each piece with a snappy little closing line when sometimes there’s nothing more to say, just eyes drifting elsewhere and … silence.