Monday, February 19, 2007

It's All A Dirty Smear

Metro Rail in my Head

A few weeks ago I was riding the escalator up out of the Metro station -- coming back from another demeaning trip to the staffing agency, another conversation with a "professional" interviewer who said "Uh, okay, what's your name again? We don't get much for writers, but we'll let you know." Freezing rain spat itself onto the top of the escalator, melting into droplets.

Some of those droplets were just heavy enough to move and they took the plunge, colliding into tother droplets and gathering steam and falling apart again as the water trails they made left drops behind, drops made out of the drops of other drops until no drop had any of the personality it had fell out of the air with and it was all one grey and dirty mess. The whole scene was hypnotic and I found myself taking a few trips up and down the escalator to watch the whole thing over and over again.

I think I caught something, doing that. Ever since then, my body's felt heavier than normal from the fingertips back. Just lifting them to write this post is taking a lot more energy thatn usual. But my thoughts, my mind, that's been the worst part. It's like all my ideas are doing what those droplets did, falling hard and melting as soon as I can look at 'em, then smearing themselves together and running off until I can't tell 'em apart any more and they're all just a bunch of dirty water that fell out of the sky.

It's cold outside, cold enough to make stupid people think that global warming was a short-lived hoax. All snow is ice and everything's dirty and wet. It's all filthy and slipping together, everything, and none of it seems to be worth staying awake for.

I used to think that writer's block was a myth. Hell, I still do. If you've got to write, I used to think, just do it. It's all in your head, the block, and if you stop whinging and start typing. eventually you'll be somewhere good. Writers' block is for the weak -- for people that don't know how to grab their own bootstraps and just PULL until they get somewhere. I still believe that.

But everybody's weak sometimes and right now it's my turn. I can't thing of a fucking thing worth saying and I'm taking offense at everything I read -- I leave a comment somewhere and a couple days later it looks hostile as hell. Most people, they just shut up till they feel better. I've been trying to, it's just making it worse.

What do you do when you get blocked? How do you get unstuck? And man, how long does it TAKE?


At 7:21 AM, Blogger E :) said...

Bundy rum, mate. Or Cointreau.

Or I just go out to a place where there are lots of people and sit for a while.

Hope you're feeling better soon.

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Paul said...

A couple of years ago, I wrote a bit about writer's block. Even thought the post was titled "writer's block" an AOL journals search failed to find it. Remind me why I'm still there?

Anyway, I hope you find your way through.

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Rothko10 said...

Breaking up routine helps for me. But sometimes you just have to give into it and take the pressure off for a while.


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