What Writing Rut?

I get it.

It’s not me. It’s you. Okay, it’s me!

I am feeling uninspired now, and have for months. I think I whined on this before. Is there such a thing as very uninspired? I have no idea if I can place a degree on it, like on a scale from one-to-ten. I know I’m okay, not panicked. I have ideas and I work on them. But I think other things (forces?) in my non-writing life are short-circuiting my writing and the transmissions from mind to this keyboard. Or maybe my mind is a void. I just can’t seem to complete what I want to do.

I can start things, but then I mentally bog down. I worked on several poems, some of which I have been picking at for weeks. After about an hour of working on one or more in my uninspired condition, I feel like the poems and I are both considerably worse off. I would get more done if I’d watched TV instead of playing writer, editor, or poet. The strange part is that no one else seems to think anything is wrong with me or my craft. Is what I feel something normal? Wife says it’s writer’s block. Could it be because the creative climb is too steep, and I’m using this dryness as an excuse? I continue to write something every day. Oh, poor pitiful me. My WordPress account is rusting.

I think about reading – but what? Books on writing or poetry? I’m honestly not in the mood for that either. I prefer to listen to music, but I haven’t been able to listen to music while I read or write in years. Music inspires me. Reading also inspires. Multi-tasking confuses me.

It’s been raining, normally that would help. I’m not tired. I wish I could write and finish what I start. But, I am writing. I want something inspirational. Maybe a few good lines in the poems, or perhaps I could drum up a coherent essay. How about writing a self-help blog on what to do when you are uninspired? Elizabeth Gilbert and my poet friend, Sue, would tell me that I am not being open to inspiration from the cosmos. I disagree. Okay, maybe they’re right. Assuming they are, then what? Hello, Cosmos of Inspiration, I am open here. Can we do a few lines? Not those kinds of lines – poetry. Prose, I suppose.

I read a couple of those ‘ta-da!’ blogs with all the answers before writing this. Seriously? Seven things to do when you feel uninspired. What a joke! How many ways can people come up with to say, “don’t be uninspired.” Get busy, they say. Fuck you, I say. Seriously. I’m not saying no to the inspirational meta-verse. If I could get busy (pause and sigh). Well, don’t they think I tried that? Ya know what I would like to do? I think I should drink. Get drunk and write, what I call “doing a Hemmingway.” I may not get anything constructive done, but I won’t care. Maybe a wee dab of doobie?

It’s Sunday. Okay, it was. I don’t know what day it is. But I would like to go to a bar, sit and sip a fine pint, and listen to some moron bitch and complain about some totally unimportant and irrelevant shit. I have no idea why that might help improve my writing dilemma. But something in me feels like listening to some neggy-Ned, so I can roll my eyes and feel superior to him (Nelly, if it be a her). I could say, “You think that’s bad? I can’t even finish a damn little poem!” Maybe I’d have a little crappy cryin’ in my beer C&W session, or some fine R&R music playing in the background. It would not inspire me and the only thing I would feel better about would be the contents of my stomach and a wee tingle in my semi-functional brain.

The thing is, I’m not bored. I am really quite fine (but, MS Word is trying to piss me off by underlining that and telling me that really and quite are unnecessary words, and it’s working. But I ain’t changing shit.). Here’s my plan.

I will go see what wife has on the flat screen. I will watch for a while, then excuse myself and head out for some nearby watering trough. I will sit there and pretend to write, or maybe read, but I’ll be people watching and eavesdropping. If you walk in and some old fart has a notepad out and is sort of eyeballing everyone, while sipping a tall, dark stout (beer with the appearance of coffee, the taste of chocolate, and a head like a coke), and jamming with some oldie tunes, just wave. If you even nod and pout a shallow grin, you’ll make my pages. Congrats. Now where’s me keys?

Look both ways on good days and bad.
Mind the gaps, but don’t let them live in your head.

 

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10 thoughts on “What Writing Rut?

  1. Put the journal away. You’ve run out of words, and the body needs to recharge. Think of your brain in terms of a car that does, indeed, run out of gas now and then. Get away from the pen, the notebook, the force feeding of words, words, words.
    There is just so much you can put out, before you start to run out of ideas, words, thoughts. This is when you should be out there taking in weather, earth, the way the trees move; taking time to meditate but not consciously. just be. This is a dry spell, and scary as it might seem, it’s totally necessary. You can’t run that car on empty for very long, and that’s what you’re trying to do.
    Every poet I know has a distinct on/off period, and it’s different for all of them. Some write for six months like one possessed and then don’t, for another six months. One man I know writes for a year, and stops for a month, then starts all over.
    I have a 12/5 cycle, 12 years off and 5 years on. annoying, it makes me feel like a 17 year locust, but it’s there, and it’s real.

    and while a journal is always the first thing suggested, sometimes, at least for a poet, it’s one way to really mess things up. A lot of good first lines go into that journal that should have started a poem. Once it’s written down, I think the brain considers it over, and goes on to the next first line. You’ll be fine. Really.

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  2. Welcome back, my friend! Liz and I knew you’d find inspiration somewhere – even if you have to drown your sorrows in a bottle of beer! You’ve plucked some glitter from the bones and I suspect we’ll be seeing more of you here in the blogosphere 😉 Mighty fine rant – badge of a true blue writer. I just pulled an all nighter and wrote three poems – damn cosmos! I may have to pull a “Hemingway”😝 gimme a double!

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  3. You come from a world where you do your job even when you don’t feel like it. Regimented. What needs to be done gets DONE.
    This is art. Art is fluid. And picky. and sometimes a whiny little bitch who refuses to do anything.
    Enjoy the process more, worry less about getting it DONE.
    (Imagine a salute with each DONE.)
    And yes, take time to recharge and not all batteries recharge at the same level. Mine needed about 18 months before I was able to produce anything of value. Now the damn thing won’t shut off.
    Hugs, Miss you.

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  4. Well I rather enjoyed the emptied contents of your brain. I second that desire to Hemingway it and there’s too much goddamn driving in my life right now!
    It’s important to sit and write, They say. Sometimes it pans out, sometimes it just makes my butt hurt.
    Anyway, REALLY QUITE nice to read some prose, enjoy your people watching excursion 🙂

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