I kept trying to tell myself I was just busy. New gig, single dad, awesome girlfriend, and just a whole shit-ton of life going on. That's what I was saying. But I'm told the first step in defeating a problem is admitting you have one. And the problem I'm having is that I can't find my fucking words.
It's not like I don't have anything to write about. I think of seven different things to write about every goddamn day, and that's just when my brain is in Neutral. I've written most of these things down as Subjects To Write Shit About. And then they just sit there, staring at me like those creepy pictures in Disney's Haunted Mansion - the ones that seem to follow you whichever way you walk, except that in this case there's no fun ride to look forward to. (Note: I was about to compare my Subjects To Write Shit About to stillborn children, as opposed to the creepy pictures in the Haunted Mansion, but then I was all like, Dude, that's fucking dark, even for you. Plus, now I just told you what I was originally going to write, which sort of defeats the whole purpose of editing myself and going a different direction, and now for all I know some of you are having images of creepy pictures of stillborn children at Disney's Haunted Mansion, that follow you everywhere you turn, and that is just ten kinds of fucked up, but I won't apologize for it because that's what's in my head right now, and the whole point of this blog was to get the shit in my head out in the open, and also I'm not going to apologize for what has basically become a gigantic parenthetical run-on sentence, because Cormac McCarthy does that shit all the time, and people think he's brilliant.)
What was I talking bout?
Oh, yeah. Writer's block.
So, I'm googling some of my favorite writers, to see what kind of advice they can give me about this. (Most of my favorite writers are dead, by the way. I'm not sure why I felt compelled to share that bit of information with you, but there you go.) Here's what one of my heroes, Ernest Fucking Hemingway, had to say about overcoming writer's block:
"All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know."
The truest sentence I know? That's kind of overwhelming. I mean, like, was he asking for a universal truth (The earth rotates around the sun.), or was he suggesting a more personal truth (I discovered masturbation at age 12, and have rarely missed a day since 1979.)?
Next up is James Thurber:
"Don't get it right; just get it written."
Now that's a practical piece of advice, and one that I suppose I'm putting into practice right now. I think my biggest, nastiest issue as a writer has always been fear: fear that what I'm writing is pure shit; fear that I'll be exposed as a charlatan and a hack, with nothing new or original to say, and no distinctive way to say it. Often I am reminded that I need to tell the little nay-sayer who lives inside my head to go take a flying fuck. Because I'm a writer. It can be made right later, but not if it's never written in the first place.
And what does Mr. William Faulkner have to say on the subject?
"I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately, I am inspired at 9 o'clock every morning."
Fuck you, Faulkner. Show off.
And with that, I suppose I have - for the time being - slain the dragon that periodically swoops in to steal my words. I wish I could tell you that I'll be much more active on this space now - but if you've read me for any length of time, you know that's bullshit. I can only tell you that I'll try. My 30 year high school reunion is coming up, and if I can't find some things to write about after that experience, then I'm probably actually brain dead. Just like Keith Richards, except less wrinkly.
Cheers, you guys.