Return from the Land of the Lost

I haven’t posted anything in a while—not since that last short story.

I haven’t written much in that time anyway, so even if I had wanted to post, I couldn’t have. I’ve worked a little on my next short work, pondered a lot about the names of other characters I want to create, and have spent a lot of time reading.

I finished Leax’s The Task of Adam, and am almost all the way through Jean Janzen’s Piano in the Vineyard. Both are very good collections of poetry, but they haven’t been giving me any ideas for my fiction. The fiction I’ve been reading (Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman and Foundation, by Isaac Asimov, as well as a few graphic novels) haven’t given me much in the way of ideas either.

This, ladies and gentleman, is Writer’s Bloc. It isn’t, like many writers claim, the bane of my existence. It’ll pass, like all other bouts of it have passed, and most likely I’ll end up as the better writer for having gone through it. When I am in the middle of the passions of writing, I don’t always pause to think and reflect over what I’m writing. It is in writers block, when I have to bite and scrape to get the words out on paper—a paragraph in an hour—I’m forced to truly invest in craft rather than inspiration. I normally don’t like what I write while I’m in the middle of writers bloc, but until I begin to write, it never actually ends. And I always find the stuff I write afterwards to be superior to the stuff I wrote before.

Jack Leax, in a class on Spiritual Writing, said that a writers life works in a cycle, like the tide—that our work lifts us and sends us down. At the time, I hated that. Why, I asked, couldn’t a writer simply work through the downward parts, and just keep paddling upwards. There are ways in which I still think that is the case, because I know from experience that to simply wait through Writer’s Bloc as if is a cold doesn’t help much. But, then, there is something both healing and strengthening in these cycles: it brings understanding that my discipline isn’t something that I do just at my own convenience—if I only do it when the fancy sets, then writing isn’t much of a discipline at all then, is it? It is merely a hobby.

Don’t get me wrong, I like hobbies. I have a number of them myself. One or two of them are even wholesome. It’s just that I don’t want my writing to be one.

I’m in my Panera again. I bought I chocolate chip cookie for my internet, although I didn’t feel bad for doing it. Just as there is something bizarrely healing in Writer’s Bloc, there is something incredibly healthy about a Chocolate Chip Cookie greasy enough to turn wax paper clear.

I bought some sausage today, and I have a can of biscuit dough in the fridge. I plan on making sausage gravy and biscuits for brunch on Wednesday or Friday. I haven’t had Texas cooking in too long, and I feel the lack of it.

My parents visited me this weekend. Seeing them was good. We ate at a steakhouse, and they payed too much money so that I could have most of a slice of peanut butter-chocolate pie. I felt bad abusing their generosity, but it didn’t stop my from enjoying the pie. It occurs to me how much I love them—my parents that is. They were driving from Texas to NY, and they slipped a long way out of the fastest path to come see me. I was touched.

It suddenly occurs to me how much I love my family and friends. I do—so very much. Even a close friend who I’ve known since fifth grade, who I’ve lately been very frustrated with, talked to me this week, and I’ve been able to talk to him without some sort of bitterness behind my voice for the first time in almost a year. It was a very good experience.

A sudden thought occurs to me: I’ve used the word healing many times thus far in this post, and before I had started writing, I hadn’t even known I needed it. I’m not sure what’s been healed, even, but I feel better tonight than I have since I went through a sudden burst of cleanliness and cleaned my apartment head-to-toe a week and a half ago.

It is a good night to be happy on.

On other, slightly more business related note, it is now less than three weeks until I return home. Eighteen days, to be exact. I have started to turn my thoughts towards oncoming classes (in panic), friends (in anticipation), and goals (in ambition).

I am beginning to think about ways I want to change my local writing community, and, if I can manage, the writing community at large. Has anyone heard of WorkingPOET? It was a thing my supervisor at Zondervan, Mr. Bob Hudson was running several years ago—essentially an online newsletter/poem anthology/country-wide workshop.

I want to bring it back, or begin something similar, depending on how things work out. But that is plans for the future, to be made with much conspiring with some friends from college (I’m looking at you, Mr. Cameron).

As I look back at this post, I am amazed: before I started it, my Writer’s Bloc was a harsh truth. Now it is less so—it is beginning to alleviate already. Astounding, what can be accomplished by simple rambling. To any still reading this: thank you for listening.

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1 Comment

  1. Bob Hudson said,

    January 4, 2008 at 12:06 am

    David King:
    Hey, guy. How are ya? Email me. I got your check — but I need your soc. sec. #.
    Bob Hudson


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