I haven’t written anything in a while and it’s really started to mess with my head. Which I almost shaved just because I was so ready for a fresh start, I thought that might help. (Un)fortunately I don’t have any clippers, so at this point I still have hair. And writers’ block like crazy. And I know what’s happening. I’m having a moment like Willem Dafoe in the Last Temptation of Christ where he’s on the cross and everything is all ouchy and filled with why have you forsaken me-ness and that little girl shows up and tells him, it’s ok, you’re done. You have done enough, you’re not the messiah, you can come down and have some good times and special lady friends and just not suffer anymore. And he is stoked and climbs down and has some pretty chill and lovely times. Until he discovers that it was a damned dirty trick the devil played to tempt him because that’s what the devil does after all.
Ok, to be clear, I am not comparing myself to Jesus or Willem Dafoe. I can tell you, if given the choice to go ice fishing with either of them, I would choose to not go ice fishing because it honestly has no appeal. That link will lead to the strangest fishing show that has ever existed. It’s a beautiful thing, something that is so strange there is no way it could exist by accident. I have much appreciation for the weird. But anyway…
The last post I wrote made me feel really good. But in a way, it was wrong of me to write it. I mean, yes, it’s important to show myself love and not call myself a failure when I don’t maintain a consistent effort. But that seductive siren song of, ‘you’ve done enough. You’ve proven yourself and can come down. You don’t need to suffer anymore ‘ is that old part of my resistance to change attemping to regain control and for the past while, since that last post, 10 days ago (10 days!!) it’s been winning. And it’s been hell. I would sit down and I would try, oh my god I would try so hard, and nothing would flow and I would let myself off the hook. And the harder I tried, the more cluttered and sharp edged I felt.
There is very little that is boxlike about my brain. It is soft and squishy rooms of permeability with train tracks running every which way through it. And there are thoughts that start on top of mountains and race down the sides, with the wind whipping past them faster and faster until their eye sockets hurt from the pressure and there is barely time to register the trees that are being dodged as the snow line thins and disappears and the mouth is just set into a grim line of determination because if I opened it even a little, there will be a harsh and painful wipeout and I really want to see where this idea is going to end up and so cannot summon the wherewithal to interrupt it. Sometimes it starts as a bubble. It might be a tiny soap bubble in a sink filled with suds, or the underwater breath of a sunfish which is large enough to encompass whole universities of variation and maybe it’s strong and maybe the slightest doubt could make it pop and vanish. All of my ideas feel like living, breathing things. I do not just anthropomorphize coffee cups and frozen croissants and books and towels. But what they do not feel like is angles and sharp corners and order.
And for the past 10 days I have been trying to impose order upon my thoughts and feelings and it’s just not working. I’m so scared to read this because I think I might sound like a crazy person. But a crazy person wouldn’t think that, would they? Maybe I’ll just keep going and hope that it turns out alright.
I never did finish that 30 day writing challenge and it’s partly because my resistance goblins started to push a little harder, somewhat because I wasn’t really jiving with every single one of the prompts, and mostly because I’ve started to really question what I’m doing it for. Why am I compelled to write? Is it enough that I am and so I do? Shouldn’t there be a purpose, some end to justify the means? I actually had a moment when I thought, well if I’m not going to write poignant lyrics or beautiful poetry or a fantastic novel or something thought provoking and non-fictional, then what am I doing this for? How long can I continue rambling on the internet about my feelings before it’s too much and pointless and I should just stop and doing something practical instead?
That might be the first time I’ve ever thought that and it scared the hell out of me. It was the first time I ever gave myself an ultimatum of sorts. A ‘if you’re not a legitimate writer by this date, you have to quit and do something practical.’ Um, excuse me, what?
This is absolutely incredible! How completely ingrained my voice of resistance is that it’s trying to pass itself off as the voice of reason. It’s like Willem Dafoe (he’s everywhere!) in Wild at Heart where he made this educated guess at one thing and that made Nicolas “snakeskin jacket” Cage trust him (a near fatal mistake) with regard to another, because it seemed reasonable. Sadly, he was a low down dirty double crosser and should have been told to get lost.
I want to trust that all aspects of myself have my best interest in mind when they speak up but sometimes they just don’t know any better. And sometimes they are shadowy saboteurs, hopeful that these new habits I’m attempting to cultivate are just passing fancies and we’ll be back to smoking cigarettes, being incautious of what we’re eating, finding excuses not to exercise or engage with other humans, to drink alcohol more often and definitely, definitely not writing every day. Who do we think we are? A writer? An artist? And arrogant so-and-so who thinks she has what it takes to delight others the way Roald Dahl does her? To breathe another Narnia into being, something so fantastic yet plausible that it becomes true by the telling of it?
So I’ve been wallowing somewhat and finally came to the conclusion that I need help. And even if I didn’t jive with all of the prompts, I liked that they were there. So I’ll start a 26 day challenge of my own. Starting next post. With A. How could I possibly disagree with a letter of the alphabet? Well, there are some that I have feelings about but for the sake of the betterment of the self, I’ll put any objections aside.
These are the rules.
1. I have to write every single day, no exceptions.
2. I am not allowed to skip a letter with the intention of coming back to it.
3. I have to come up with three words that start with that letter and write something creative (fiction or non) as a result.
4. It doesn’t have to be good. It definitely shouldn’t be perfect.
5. If I don’t write it here, I at least have to publish the words here to have a measure of accountability.
ha! First word? Accountability.