Friday, March 26, 2010

My Awful Writing.

Writing about Writer's Block is a lot like talking about what a terrible poker player you are while you're playing poker. I think.

Maybe not.

This is part of my issue.

I'm going through a period of time now, in which everything I write, I hate. This not to elicit any courteous or encouraging nudges from readers. I mention this to sort of face the thing head on. Every writer goes through it eventually. Perfectly natural, happens to everybody...Blah blah, further allusions to embarrassing body issues, odors, or uncooperative softness.

Recently, I started wondering if I've become delusional. Letters don't look right. Words disappear from my vocabulary - only to reappear in awkward malaprops. No slurring has occurred yet, so I don't think it's a physical thing.

The more unfortunate complication is my regression in tone. There have been more than a couple of occasions over the last few days when I (Thank Heaven) took a second glance at an email and had the presence of mind to remove something so childish, I can hardly believe I let myself type the whole thing out. One of the worst is reproduced here:

"Tell me who is being mean to you and I will mail them an envelope filled with my own boogers."

What. On. EARTH.

I tell myself that this is merely a phase and that, like anything, I just have to muscle through it. Write through it. Even if I don't want to. Even if it seems I have returned to the age of nine.

We did an exercise in college that required us to move non-stop for an hour. This might not seem like much, but it was gruelling. Through various prompts from our instructor, we were told to move quickly as she called out Sharp, Curve, Straight, Twirl, and finally, Chaos. Chaos was terrible. We couldn't stop moving. Period. If we hit a wall, we had to muster through.

At the end, she said, "Stillness." We were to go straight from Chaos to Stillness. My body was utterly shocked.

My little know-it-all 19 year-old self was willing to call bullshit on this exercise. Now, I am amazed at how often I think of it. After a period of Chaos, it's natural for a system to settle, move into some stillness, and prepare itself for the next whateveryouwannacallit to come along. Maybe nothing will, maybe a lot will.

I've written over 300 entries on this blog. I think it's easy to mistake Chaos for productivity. At first, it can feel like "Hey! Look at what all I did!" Some of it might be great, but some of it might suck, too. It's worth it to slow down a little and shape the stuff worth shaping and let the flotsam of Chaos drift out to sea.

But the key is not to panic. Panic is the worst thing I can do, I think. Panic is the basis of Writer's Block. If I'm still for minute, I can remember that Antimony and Acrimony are NOT the same thing.

And maybe I won't mail these envelopes to the enemies of my loved ones.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is this even an issue? No woman has fallen out of love with her words for long. ;p

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