Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Let’s Talk About Text, Baby!

I’ll be honest here, I’ve been in something of a creative slump for quite awhile now. 2019 was a hard year for me personally and I’m not great at writing my way through adversity. So I didn’t get a lot written. Then 2020 … I had such high hopes as 2020 started. The — you know — there was some more adversity. The anxiety and isolation of the pandemic did not do much for me creatively. I did some stuff, I still made some things, but nothing that was worth anyone’s time.

Now as we are beginning to return to a world filled with interesting and inspiring things, I have been getting prepared. In much the same way that I have been trying to get my body ready again for the world, I have been trying to get my creative brain back in gear again as well. That is part of the reason I have started writing this here little blog again. I know that no one reads it, but I have never really written it to be read. I’ve always written it just for the writing of it. This is the mental equivalent of going to the gym. I just have to do it. I have to rebuild a daily writing practice and I have to reacquaint myself with the simple little joys of typing words on this keyboard. 

It has always seemed odd to me that a writer has to be an idea-haver and then a kind of story structure architect, someone with the loose whimsy to think up people out of nothing, but then also someone expected to have the self-discipline to sit down and write every day, but then also someone who has the dispassionate bloodlessness to slash and edit their way back through the thick damp word jungle that they themselves grew and tended. It is an odd way to exist. You can barely blame writers for having the reputation of being prodigious drinkers. It is a weird way to spend one’s time and life.

And I have been wildly unsuccessful at it. At least lately.

And yet, here I am on a Wednesday morning before work, typing away. Even when there is no inspiration in the fingertips, it is important to still type away. 

And I have  a few ideas. A precious few, but ideas nonetheless. I’ve been trying to tend to them like the sad, constantly dying herb garden I’ve been trying to grow since the beginning of the pandemic. I’ve had about the same success creating as I’ve had gardening, but the lack of success is not the same as failure; failure is giving up, everything else is just learning.

The other day I read a poem that I liked and it has been stuck in my mind for a while. I have been turning it around like a skillfully cut diamond, trying to appreciate the craft of it. This is what I used to always be doing. It feels good to be doing it again.


It is hard for me to dive back into long narrative writing, which was always my home for most of my life. So I have been looking at these smaller things lately. One can produce a small collection of poems in a weekend if one is properly energized. I’m not saying they will be good poems, but I have never concerned myself with that sort of thing. 

And I have a three day weekend coming up.

And I have my first late-pandemic out-of-state trip just days after that. 

And I have hope that those things will produce ideas.

And that those ideas might produce words.

And that those words might become text.

And that that text might become something called “writing” and then I will hold that writing above my head and proclaim, “Behold, I am a writer again!’

And then maybe if I say it, I will feel like it again.




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