…and yesterday’s, and probably tomorrow’s too.
I’ve had sort of writer’s block recently. Okay, less a block and more…okay, you know how Han Solo was in that carbonite? And he looks like he’s all AAAAAHHHH!!!? In this analogy my brain is Solo stuck in an interminable, noiseless AAAAAHHH!!! I don’t even sit down to write and get ink constipation. I don’t even make it to the “sit down to write” part. I make it to the part where I think about sitting down and then realize I’ve nothing engrossing to say and no enthralling way to say it. So I stomp around a while, check email, read a few articles, realize I don’t know exactly what ear wax is made of and look that up (60% keratin, 12-20% saturated and unsaturated long-chain fatty acids, and 6-9% cholesterol according to Wikipedia), and then come to the undeniable conclusion that I will never write again.
This is where a fainting couch would come in handy. Or perhaps a hair shirt.
Instead of just sucking it up, sitting down, and pounding something out, I torture myself. The sensible, grown up thing to do would be to write sentences. Any sentences. The wall is blue. I should have used another brand of paint. Is that a bug? How much would my family care if they ate saltines and mustard for dinner tonight? I like mustard. Rational Brain knows if she sits down and just starts with a few warm-up sentences, Emotional Brain will slink out of her room, put down her copy of Being And Nothingness, and eventually chime in with a few good points. But Rational Brain is sort of a wuss and Emotional Brain is sort of a bully. Somewhere in the middle of Rational Brain’s list-making and Emotional Brain’s existential angst, I decide to give up and torture myself by watching multiple episodes of 30 Rock, The West Wing, and The Wire. It’s dialogue waterboarding.
I don’t want to go into a whole thing here about Sorkinese or the Tracy Jordan patois or the McNulty/Omar dynamic. These are three very different shows, but all are musicals. Listen to them with your eyes closed. They got rhythm. Maybe they don’t got daisies and starlight, but they got music. I would sell my soul at the crossroads to be able to write with that kind of dexterity. And therein lies the rub. In order to every have a tiny prayer of a chance to write like that, you know what I gotta do? Keep writing.
While banging my head on my desk is, indeed, both rhythmic and satisfying, it is not an aid to good writing. Or, for that matter, bad writing. Because I have a blog, I don’t really have to worry about marketable. I just write whatever drivel pops into my wee brain. This is a good thing, because I don’t think I could write about vampires, werewolves, or BDSM.
HANG ON! Let me write this down. Two shapeshifters meet at a bondage club…
- Drove unwillingly to the suburbs. Not like at gunpoint unwillingly, but not like HEY! MY WEEK WILL NOT BE COMPLETE WITHOUT A TRIP TO COLLIERVILLE!!
- Drove very fast out of the suburbs.
- Researched whether or not we are still technically at war with Korea. Answer? Kinda, no. We were never technically at war, but we did sign an armistice. An armistice is not a peace treaty, but it does mean the sides agree to a permanent ceasefire.
- Learned that technically Russia and Japan are still at war. There was a dispute over the Southern Kuril Islands and they never signed a peace treaty after World War II.
- Was reminded the US did not restore diplomatic ties with Vietnam until 1995.
- Regretted my decision to take a class on Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway for the simple reason the instructor says, “uh” too much.
- Got over it.
- Talked to my daddy who lovingly reminded me sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel sometimes really is daylight, but most of the time is attached to a train.
- Promised never to question the genetics of cynicism again.
- Had an AWESOMETERRIFICKILLER idea for a blog post and forgot it before I wrote a note to self.
- Pondered this question posed by Chuck Klosterman in Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs:
You’ve met your soul mate. However, there is a catch: Every three years someone will break both of your soul mate’s collarbones with a crescent wrench, and there is only one way you can stop this from happening: You must swallow a pill that will make every song you hear–for the rest of your life–sound as if it’s being performed by the band Alice in Chains. When you hear Creedence Clearwater Revival on the radio, it will sound (to your ears) like it’s being played by Alice in Chains. if you see Radiohead live, every one of their tunes will sound like it’s being covered by Alice in Chains. When you hear a commercial jingle on TV, it will sound like Alice in Chains; if you sing to yourself in the shower, your voice will sound like deceased Alice vocalist Lane Staley performing a capella (but it will only sound this way to you).
Would you swallow the pill?