To follow are commonly heard cop-outs for why I am not writing anything creative and good for sharing these days. The fact that I am not the only one to have thought or uttered these does not make me feel better, to be part of a maudlin brotherhood of mentally fatigued, temperamental creatives. Okay, maybe it does, just a little bit, knowing we all go through it, and I do not mean writers block. I mean making the choice to shut off creative valves, walk away from them because we no longer want to write for whatever reason. It’s just easier not picking up the pen, innit?
I can’t write because I’m too tired. No inspiration. Not ready. Grieving. The office is full of Dad’s stuff. I’m full of my Dad’s stuff, and Marilyn’s, too, while we’re at it. The desk is trashed. Would rather zone out and surf the web. I haven’t had enough beer to be relaxed enough to write. The house is too noisy. Look at all these chores I have to get done first. How about if I clean up the house and then gift myself with a few moments of writing down by the river, since I can’t write unless I’m in just the right spot? I have nothing to write. I have nothing to say. When I try to write too much wants to come out so it’s all log-jammed in there, and I MUST make sense of my thoughts, get organized, before I even attempt to do anything creative. (OH…kayy…) All just ways of saying I’m not ready–or not willing.
And then, the fear comes. If somebody took away all the distractions, if they plunked me down in a shotgun shack by the ocean, far away from people, traffic, issues, if I found myself in a place where I gave myself a paradise, a silent, clean, spartan home where I could open the door and run outside naked to the waves and run back into the house and not worry that I am supposed to smile and say “I love you, too” even when I do not feel it, the only thing that’s left is me and a notebook on my knee… what would I write? What could I say? Where would my thoughts (return) and then go? Is there work inside me that needs to come out and has enough depth to be shared, that could be shaped and formed into something worthwhile? Or is it all just a lot of cathartic mess and not worth the weight I give it? And the fear comes again. What if I were never to give myself that paradise, I will always live here in this house surrounded by this mess, and will forever have to face every day life? What about that notebook on my knee that wants me to speak up, say something, anything, let’s go!
Either way… I will never find out unless I win the fight against grief, lethargy, the enemy that is resistance. Make words, one after the other, give them heart, character, a place to interact, fashion them wings and help them fly away. It’s not all for nothing. If it was, why would I keep coming back to a blank screen, hoping that today will be the day? I have to be my own captive audience; write for myself first, and let the rest worry about itself later.
It’s me, bitch. Have I got a story to tell you….