joni abilene

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Month: September, 2013

Le Block, Part Deux

Last time I was talking about The Block and how it comes and goes. I guess there are people, and they have every right to feel this way mind you, who believe writer’s block to be a product of laziness. In some ways, yes, it is. And the people saying this, well, their brand of love is tough love. But, yes, love. In my humble opinion though writer’s block is so much more than being undisciplined. It’s often tied up in emotions, stress, sickness; and then you mix all those like a martini and throw in some rejection and depression and whatever you can find, and then it gets worse. One day you feel like you can’t eat enough pizza, and then another you want to run over Papa John with a zamboni. We humans are so unpredictable. We change and change and change and we think we can control every little aspect of our psyche, but it’s not that simple. So I can’t agree with writer’s block being self-willed, there are just too many variables. I do know this: no matter how you feel about the whole thing, you should try to at least hold a little compassion for those who suffer The Block, because it might be you one day. And for those of you currently in The Block, pen one sentence per day. Just one. It doesn’t have to be good or fancy or anything. Then try for two. Slowly you can dig yourself out of The Block. The worst you can do is blame yourself. Remember, to write is a beautiful verb. A gift. Don’t ever let it destroy you.


The Block

I am in-between projects right now, having recently finished an edit for a manuscript that was  in sore need of attention. The worst thing in the world is not knowing which project to step into next. I always feel so guilty—a real writer picks up without hesitation and starts or finishes, end of story. But I’m a toe dipper, an air sniffer. I can’t jump into anything without a lot of thought and worry. And yet the more excited I get, the more afraid I become of ruining the project. Stalling occurs. I watch strange television shows on BIO and then go out with my dog and stare at the clouds. Where are you, Muse? With someone else? Someone more brilliant, more dedicated, more disciplined? I knew it. It’s over. Just tell me. It’s over, right? Right?

When I get past all the worry and avoidance and open up *the* document and things start rolling and I get the usual migraine that cries for Exedrin and then I pump out 10,000 words of mastery and wake up in a dream and life is brilliant and bright like a neon pink LED, I look back at my pitiful in-between self and say, “What the fuck was that all about? You can write. You can fucking write. What are you so scared about? HUH?”

But it always happens. So. Let it.

Quick message from this sponsor . . .

Just thought I should jump in here real quick to say that I’M STILL ALIVE. Editing is taking up quite a bit of my time, and to tell you the truth writing a blog is the last thing I feel needs to be done. I do love blogs and blogging, but, you know, in the grand scope of life it’s not the most important, and really someone being quiet once in a while is kinda nice. At least in my opinion it is. Remember that Depeche Mode song, Enjoy the Silence? Yeah. That.

So I’m waiting for the fall stuff to start up. Any time now. Every afternoon I sit in my hot car in the child pickup lane at my kids’ school, sweltering away like a Polish sausage in a street vender’s cart. It’s a no idle zone, which means I can’t turn on the aircon. Oh God. It’s a long hour in that car. I don’t mind the waiting. I’m a very patient person. But I’ve been sweating in strange places. It’s a bit horrifying. But whatever, in a few months I’ll be freezing to death and will say, Remember when it was hot and I could still feel my toes? 

So, now that I’m done editing I can go back to writing which is my favorite thing to do. Can’t stand this reality stuff. Please. I was born to live a fictional existence. I love my characters and miss them when I can’t write.

That’s about it. No nuggets of great wisdom here. But then, did I promise any?

Take some tomatoes on your way out—the garden is out of control and I’m sick of eating them all by myself. And you can have those rotten bananas too. Actually, wait. I’ll make banana bread tomorrow. Leave those. As always, thanks for stopping by.