This could become a series of blog posts. This topic. What to write about when you’re not writing, just so I can BE writing and have something to write about. Self fulfilling prophecy or something like that. Anyway, I’m still poking along with a number of different stories and projects. Poking is an apt word because it denotes “slowness” and “lack of forward progression.” I wish my word choice there included “light speed” or “raging” or “spectacularly” but I’m going to stick with poking for right now. Next week maybe I’ll have another update and I can insert a more interesting word.
I’m always curious about where writing inspiration comes from. You see many successful authors churn out ludicrous amounts of material every year, year after year after year. Don’t they ever get writer’s block for months at time like all of us others? Maybe not.
I’m reminded of an article called “BLOCKED” from The New Yorker that I read one time about the famous poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge when he was going through a period of horrible writer’s block:
Yesterday was my Birth Day,” Coleridge wrote in his notebook in 1804, when he was thirty-two. “So completely has a whole year passed, with scarcely the fruits of a month.—O Sorrow and Shame. . . . I have done nothing!” It was true. Most of the poems for which he is remembered were written when he was in his mid-twenties. After that, any ambitious writing project inspired in him what he called “an indefinite indescribable Terror,” and he wasted much of the rest of his life on opium addiction. How could he have done this? Why didn’t he pull himself together? A friend asked him the same question. “You bid me rouse myself,” he replied. “Go, bid a man paralytic in both arms rub them briskly together, and that will cure him. Alas! (he would reply) that I cannot move my arms is my complaint.”
Now, that’s some depressing crap right there.
In fact, the first time I read that article I think I was about the exact same age as Coleridge – 32. Anyway, the whole Article, “Blocked”, is an excellent essay on the phenomenon of writer’s block. But my point here is not necessarily “block” as “writer’s slump” where you have to push through invisible walls that slow or impede your output rather than being solid, impenetrable obstacles. Would Coleridge have fared better if he had internet access and a blog? I don’t know. Maybe.
And seriously, I’ve wondered at times if I’m a reincarnation of Coleridge, if one believes in such things. Obviously I do, but I’m not trying to convince or change anyone’s mind about anything. Choose to believe whatever you want, but to quote a super wise man, the Buddah:
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
But a quick internet search turns this up as well (click on the picture):
YEAH, on second thought, Samuel Taylor Coleridge would have had a f****** blast with the Internet.