Every so often I get writer's block. Like just now. Or any time I open a word processor.I may have a great idea or two floating around my brain but the moment I see that blank screen, my mind imitates it.The creative process is a tease. She entices you, gives you a glimspe of a well turned phrase, the allure of a smooth flow of words, and the promise of a satisfying final result. And then she leaves you for some hack at a tabloid whose specialty is alien abductions.
It's amazing any of us can write anything. We start out on Dick and Jane books, move up to comic books, muddle our way through Dickens and Eliot, and maybe, if we are lucky, discover there is something worth reading, something that grabs our hearts and makes us fall in love with the written word. Of the small number who make it to that level, a fraction succumb to the notion that they could actually write something worth reading. That belief probably starts soon after we learn to put a sentence together, however poorly, and are praised for it by someone we love and/or admire. Like that first grade teacher who smelled so good, smiled so nicely at you, and stirred feelings you didn't understand until puberty struck. A few kind words about an unevenly scribbled paper full of misspellings and grammatical errors poorly explaining a book you struggled to get through sets you on a course of pain, frustration, rejection, compliments, joy, and rare insights into your own soul.
That's why we write, isn't it? To drill down into our psyches and battle the horrors and fears we believe are there. Or maybe to make the beauty we see outside ourselves a part of us. Because as much as we might deny it, it is about our own egos. It is said that a writer's first novel is autobiographical in nature, regadless of the actual subject. Some might say the writer puts a piece of himself in every character he creates. It's probably true. After all, who else do we know so much, and so little, about? But above all, we have stories to tell, stories that we want to tell.
Unless writer's block strikes.
A Night Unremembered
7 years ago