The Shit Twist Swirly

Thursday, September 11, 2014 | 0 Comment(s)

When it comes to writer's block I am lucky in two ways.

First, my blockages are specific.  For instance, if I set in my mind that I wanted to publish a new piece on my blog every day for a week, the blockage would surely come in the form of a dearth of new ideas. Now that I'm writing a book, most often the walls are between me and creating new content on any given day.  

The second advantage I have is that my personal neuroses is so strong that when the words just aren't coming to me, I usually write about what a failure I am at writing (e.g. right now.)  It usually comes out just self-depricating enough to not sound overtly narcissistic.  Though it obviously is. 

Today is one of those "no new content" days.  And while I want so desperately to blame it on something as professional sounding as writer's block, I have a good inkling of what the problem is.  You see, the book I'm writing is a comedy.  A non-fiction comedy, I grant you, but a comedy nonetheless.  Therefore in order for the words to come out the correct mixture of lighthearted with a touch of acerbic wit, down deep in my gut place, I need to be in touch with those same present day emotions. 

But that's not what selling a book feels like.  The experience of shopping a book to agents/publishers, to the best of my still naive palette for the business, seems a mixture of one part graduate school application process, and the other part crushing middle school-style relational rejection. A soft-serve ice cream shit twist swirly.  And after eating two different flavors of shit at once, the world doesn't feel so comedic and lighthearted.  Thus the words come out disingenuous, and I might have just as productively played video games all day. 

The worst part, the metaphoric cherry on top of that shit twist swirly, is that in the absence of writing I always feel as if I somehow temporarily lose my identity as a writer, and feel like an unproductive bum. A not-that-kind of doctor.  A bar-less tender. 

That is also why I'm so grateful for this blog.  Not only does its archive hold proof of a productivity I never fail to doubt, but its constant accessibility acts as a word-woven life jacket -- easy to snatch from below my seat cushion or the overhead compartment. These moments of honesty with myself, and with writing, hold me afloat until the words make me buoyant once again. 

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