Writing About Writing. At Last. Because I'm Writing. At Last.
So yeah, in the last year or so, I haven't posted much about actually writing and there's a significant reason for that, namely...
I...er...haven't actually been writing.
There. It's very hard to admit that. There are reasons for it that I'm not yet ready to publicly talk about, but for a solid year, it has felt like the writing part of my brain had packed up and gone away. It wasn't available.
This had never happened to me before. I've had down times where I didn't write much or was caught up in the business of every day living, but my brain still felt like a writer's brain. By that I mean that I could tell that a part of my brain was still running in the background--like a computer program--and it was thinking about writing and stories and stuff even if the front of my brain wasn't.
But this past year, that part of my brain shut off. It was scary because it was just such a dead feeling and I'd never had that feeling before. It was like going to a store you'd patronized your whole life that supplied you with something you vitally need and finding it dark and empty with a "for sale" sign in the window. Gone. Dead. Blank.
I tried to figure out what had happened. God knows, I still had all of the same motivations that had driven me to write in the past. Yeah, there was some disappointment in that year. Some heavy disappointment, disillusionment, self-doubt. Lots of self-doubt. But God also knows, I've had all of that before and was always able to use it to fuel my writing. Few things motivate me like being told "no" or "not good enough." It makes me mad and I'm a huge proponent of using anger as a motivating force.
But this time, it wasn't working. Nope, my brain said. We're done. Not worth it, not when there's so much good stuff on TV. Let's do that instead. Look! Frasier reruns on three different channels!
A year of this. And look, at my stage of life, I don't have so many years that I can afford to toss them away like this. I started to panic. That just made things worse. Now I was not only not writing, I wasn't sleeping, either.
Attempts at different techniques to spark writing/creativity didn't work. I'm telling you, I was creatively brain dead! Like when you burn out the motor in your hair dryer. You can flick the switch all you want and nothing is going to happen.
So what finally worked? I'm not sure. Certainly, there was an issue that had to be addressed that I had avoided addressing. Dropping the weight of avoidance and taking responsibility back kind of reshifted everything. A kind friend who offered weekly talks to help me explore what I needed to do was another huge help.
Look, I'm one of those writers that likes having written. Sorry, but there it is. I'm a bit of a writer ho'. And in order to have written, you have to write. In the end, as it always always ALWAYS does, it comes down to this:
Nobody has yet figured out a way around that. There are many disappointments out there and many hard truths. But one truth is that if you don't write, then nothing gets written. And sometimes writing anything--even if you believe it to be the wrong thing--is better than writing nothing at all. That's where I am right now.