Writers UN-block?

That this entry began as something entirely different actually explains most of what you’re about to read.

Despite some generous comments – both public and private – to the contrary, I’m not sure how much of a “writer” I really am or even consider myself to be.   Maybe frequently being my own worst critic is a sign that I am, in some way, “a writer” of some sort.  That seems to be a common affliction amongst them after all.  Unvarnished truth is , I do think I occasionally manage a home run piece (or at least a solid double into the gap) but more often than not I come away thinking either “that wasn’t as good as it should have been” or even “that was just … mundane”.  With that said, I find myself with a different dilemma at the moment.

I’ve got too much to write.

Every writer on the planet just cringed, some probably threw something at their screen even.  “Writer’s Block” seems to be the most famous bane of the existence for most serious literary types, their worst fear and their most recurring nightmare.  So maybe I’m disqualifying myself from their ranks entirely by admitting that I believe I’m suffering from the opposite problem:  today I can’t seem to shut down enough threads or close enough avenues in order to get from any simple Point A to Point B.

It’s not like I’m not used to that problem to some extent, one of my more frequent gripes in life seems to be how “my brain won’t shut down, it just keeps going on its own”.  One of my more common remarks is how “my train of thought runs on some pretty winding tracks, with a lot of switchbacks”, so on and so forth.  My internal wiring just seems to leave me destined to being everything from jumbled to scatterbrained to virtually manic.  Hey, I’m used to it, one of my own personal SNAFU deals.

This is a little different than that however.  This is actually stopping me from putting virtual pen to virtual paper today, I can’t seem to coalesce around one topic, much less one unified theme.  I’ve defeated that occasionally, in part it’s how my “Three Things” entries were born, but those are still largely made of up items not quite worthy of a full-length entry but interesting enough to me that they warranted some comment or three. But this … meh, it’s just different.

I believe that most personal writing is at least partially therapeutic.  The writer is either trying to purge themselves of something, to fulfill some personal need, to work something out aloud.  So it’s more than a little frustrating to find myself unable to accomplish any of those things at the moment because all the needs keep bumping into each other on the tracks.  It’s like bumper cars with freight trains right now.

Oh I could tell you some of the stuff that’s been partially written this morning but that would feel like a very empty exercise.  I’m too proud to put too much half-baked stuff here, too selfish or maybe too hopeful to serve an idea before it’s ready to come out of the oven.  I’ve got what feels like an good one complete with a unified theme (which I love having,keeps me on track), another that’s more of a cryptic thing full of hidden meanings for those who know how to find them, another that’s actually positive and upbeat & heartfelt and all that jazz.

And instead of any of those, what do I bring out as Today’s Special for lunch?   Some sort of chef’s creation that might turn out to be too much of nothing to be anything at all.   I feel a bit like I’m serving corned beef has when there were steak, pork chops and chocolate cake all in the kitchen … but I couldn’t figure out exactly how to cook them, what sides to pair them with, nor even how to put them on the plate.

You might reasonably ask (yourself or even me), why did I put this entree in the window at all?  Why not just figure out what I wanted to do, then find a way to do it, then make a nice little presentation of it all.  I mean, it’s not like anybody was going to go hungry if I stalled a little while longer.

I think the answer is — maybe — that I felt like I needed to warm up the grill a little bit.  That pre-heating the creative oven MIGHT produce either an epiphany or at least cause me to focus, enough to get at least one of the dishes done sooner rather than later.  The ingredients have a tendency to spoil if I leave them sitting around too long, so I’m trying to find a way to use at least some of them.

I guess we’ll know soon enough whether that little trick worked or not.

1 Comment

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One response to “Writers UN-block?

  1. Ah, yes. What I like to call the word vomit session. The freewrite to end all freewrites, entries like this are systemic purges to clear the brain, because however wrong Dusty is about OBP, his analogy of base-clogging is quite apt when it comes to writing – there’s a certain paralysis and anxiety in having *too* many ideas, too many avenues. Particularly for those of us who by nature can see the relative merits of all things, which leads us to do things like pace in Target for 20 minutes and call someone to decide whether to get the red or the blue limited edition Pokemon 3DS.

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