Saturday, July 17, 2010

Between Writer's Block, Summer and Vacation, Nothing Got Done

Lately, if you've noticed a dearth of postings and a lot of reruns, it's my brain's fault.  It went on summer vacation and neglected to tell me.  The daily consumption of diet coke doesn't seem to have the same caffeine inducing powers it holds in the winter. Summer just slows me down all the way around.  I like floating in the pool rather than swimming laps; and strolling rather than jogging, running or even brisk power walking.   I'm a nert gradually becoming more "in"nert as the dog days of summer progress.  

Still, it's not that I'm not thinking or doing or thinking of doing, it's just never the list of what needs to be done that takes priority.  If someone says, "Hey let's go to a movie, library, hike, go-carts, insert fun thing here," I'm there and I'll even help get it going; it's just the self initiating part of me seems to have hung up a semi-permanent sign at least for the three months the kids are off school, "Gone Fishing."   

There was a time when I would have understood the wisdom of storing up experience, rather than wanting to perpetually pour it all onto a page, but that was before I discovered my brain was in reality, lost in the 100 acre woods.

My writing ego whines and demands that I respond with Tigger like reflexes to the temptation to become Pooh.   And I realize, at least part of my brain is as neurotic as Rabbit while sounding as pompous as Owl.  Having never been passive about anything, the instant I start slowing up on even generating material, the nervous writer part of me starts worrying, "Why?" Did I use up all my reserves? Will I ever be funny again? Have I lost it? Did I ever have it? And she nags as I go about the day, wanting me to eat more fish and drink acai juice and do Sudoku and crosswords to reanimate that part of my head that spins a tale and won't let go until I sit down and write, but sitting down to read, I find the words keep spilling off the page before they ever make it to my eyes. I sit down, I fall asleep. After about a week of a dry spell, the writer part of me got anxious.

Quick Sherry, start organizing something: a party, a trip, an event. Go outside. Organize the inside. Do Something! Read a really hard book from that list of "good" books you haven't read yet. Watch a serious movie that other people consider important. Listen to classical music while exercising. Go! Go! Go! Do! Do! Do!

Until she has me tied up in knots worrying that I will never write good stuff again. "Probably a good thing." says my Eeyore. 

And  every action that I do that doesn't then result in inspiration makes the writer part more irritated.  "Well that didn't work, try something else."  Until I got fed up and turned off the computer and said, "Enough.  I'm going to go eat some cherry chocolate chip ice cream."  "For inspiration?" My writer self asks nervously.  "No." I answered, "Because it will taste good."

And somewhere, later, when I'm not trying, the writing returns and the saner part of me like Christopher Robin shakes his head at the rest of us running about, searching for a thing to say and a reason and at how all that bluster and activity was time better spent swimming or making a pie or just allowing the ideas to drift along the way leaves scattered on a sluggish little stream flow.   "This is a good thing." the writer brain says as it allows the ice cream to drip a bit.  "However, you should have thought of this first."  

The rest of me knows better than to respond "Silly old bear."  


Adrienne said...

You need to quit giving away all your brilliance for free and write a book (can you say e-book???)

MightyMom said...

:-). Good post! I think my funny bone is dislocated.... Or maybe it's lost in my purse. But I'm sure sooner or later I'll find it. Probably one day when I'm late and digging in search of my keys...,,.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!