Monday, November 21, 2011

Writer's Block

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There is a feeling like a word on the tip of my tongue that I can't quite get out. It is a thought that is stuck floating around my head unable to be closely pondered. The pursuit has come to a fork in the road unsure which direction to go. Do I go with the safe route which has always been the easy way out, or do I take the unknown direction to the land of oz? (Hopefully finding my brain, heart and nerve along the way). For the last month, I have thrown my heart and soul into this blog. I got up earlier (like ten minutes), got dressed up and even did something I was not used to doing, I planned in advance. The pursuit and my life became intertwined like two silk strands of a spider web. I wove little tales and trapped the bugs into my web of daily life. Then something happened, something I did not expect....writer's block. I turned on the faucet and no water came out. The other day, I saw the first sign of the holiday season, the Salvation army bells. I dug into my purse, looking for loose change. Maybe the only reason I was there was to rent a movie, but I still wanted to start off my holiday season right. I dug into the crap trap that is my purse. I dug through receipts, reward cards, coupons, wallets, earrings...but no change. Not a dollar not a penny. I sat the purse on top of my car to get a better angle for me to reach my arm in. Still, I couldn't find something that would satisfy my need to put into the red pot. Finally, I gave up and gave the bell ringer an apologetic smile. I guess that is what I have been feeling the last few days. I am reaching into my life digging for something that I just can't find. Since I have started doing this, the one thing that I have feared the most has happened....I ran out of things to say. My thought path became blurred and I have lost sight of my master plan.

Thank you for bearing with me. Maybe the reason I spent the last ten years wishing I could write regularly was that I knew what I would do when things got tough....I would quit. Giving up on writing is what I consider to be taking the easy way. When the going gets tough...I get the hell out. I needed to go beyond my normal way of thinking tonight if I was going to salvage the confidence I have gotten by doing this. I have always taken the easy way...so now the other road is not that easy. This is the learning curve that I have created...so I will have to learn to see both sides of it.

Anyone else not have any clue how to ask for help...or what to do when someone offers you help. You want to take on the world alone...but you take on too much. I am pretty sure that sums up motherhood. You are the one they turn to for advice..the one who has all the answers. There was a time when I truly felt like an adult..that was the time my mom turned to me for advice. I felt so wise and important...like my opinion truly mattered. It started small..like what kind of jeans she should buy and turned into important life decisions like jobs and money. Pretty soon, I was like her equal..or better yet a friend. I thought about that tonight when I asked for help. Who do you ask for help with writers block? I asked the artist of the house. Layla has quietly been typing up a storm. She discovered the wonder that is Microsoft Word...or as she calls it Ms.Word. She told me she is very excited to be typing up her adventure stories. Like me she wants to find a publisher to turn her stories into a book. I asked her if she ever got writer's block. She looked at me perplexed. "Sometimes" she admitted. 'What do you do?" I asked, "Where do you come up with your stories? You always seem to have something to write...do you ever wonder what to write next?" Layla: "Well at school at recess, me and my friend play adventure games so I come home and write them down. We are pretending to be a cat named Willow, a dog named Cutie, another dog named Sandy and a cat Fang. Then we always come up with ideas so I come home and write them down. I write my ideas while I am thinking...and sometimes I change my ideas." She kept going on and on and on..mostly about cats, adventures, dragons, gills, amphibian skins....." I looked at her...mostly the look in her eye as she looked off to one side. "So you just have a really big imagination?" I asked. "Yeah," She smiled.

The recipe for creativity is difficult to make. It takes a pinch of determination, and ounce of dedication..a cup of patience all stirred together with a ton of imagination. When I get stuck in the rut of everyday life, it is not always easy for me to see beyond it. I don't know how to make a world where cats talk and where a dog named Cutie calls all the shots. I am going trust in Layla's imagination because I am sure she has enough to go around. Any kid smart enough to know the best way to enjoy a cake pop from the night before is to hide it from Daddy is worth paying attention to. For those of you who are writers..I would love to hear your story. How do you get through writer's block? How do you find inspiration in the mundane? Learning to write is a lot like training for a marathon. It is not a sprint...but a slow and steady pace. There will be days when you excel at it and go that extra mile or two (pardon the cliche) and of course there will be days where you truck along and work your way through it. Writing has become too much a part of my life to give up now..so I am going to have to take the different road, the scary road..the Alice in Wonderland road...and finish the race.

Since Layla is my inspiration for the night...I put up a picture of hers. Her art has become much more of a process and I don't get the weekly pictures that I used to. It has been a while but here are one of her pictures.

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What are some ways you get through writer's block? 

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