Wednesday, August 30, 2006





Writer's block. Horrible. Stupefying. I feel like a comic book hero stripped of his powers and dragging himself along the ground saying things like "Can't . . . breathe!" And it's all the more galling because my immediate living environment, while accommodating, isn't inhabited by the most creatively ambitious bunch in the world. (The guy across the hall is downright simian; his girlfriend is worse.)

So I feel this restless, overarching need to transcend reality, and the only feasible way of doing that, short of blowing my mind with psychedelic drugs, is writing. I keep waiting for an upwelling of inspiration to rise from my subconscious like some incandescent bubble, chthonic and blistering.

5 comments:

Ray Palm (Ray X) said...

Mac:

The Block, the dread disease of the creative spirit. I suffer from it sometimes. Part of it is that I'm not surrounded by people into the same kind of interests. I did belong to a local writers group, but even within that circle I found myself on the outside, i.e., I wasn't trying to write a mystery or a romance. Also, most of the people just wanted a social club to talk about what they were going to write someday. That someday never came around.

I do know a published local writer and it was good to talk shop with her. But lately she has been preoccupied with other things and so there is no one I can talk with about writing-related problems such as The Block.

And, of course, there are those simians whose mere presence seems to dampen any creative spark. Plattsburgh is simian central. (I'm glad I'm away from there for a week or so; I needed a break.)

Me, I'm not one of those who makes sure to write everyday. If I force myself, it ends up being lifeless, mechanical. I don't know if I could really handle a deadline. You're not facing one with your book, are you? If time isn't a factor, then set aside writing. Your muse will return at some point.

And if you want to talk shop, drop me an email.

Best,

Ray

Mac said...

lso, most of the people just wanted a social club to talk about what they were going to write someday.

Oy. I've seen that mentality at work as well. The only real writers I've met have been solitary and quite unconcerned about what others think (at least during the writing process).

Plattsburgh is simian central.

Is Plattsburgh Independence, MO's sister city, by any chance? ;-)

I don't know if I could really handle a deadline. You're not facing one with your book, are you?

Actually, no -- but I masochistically wish my editor would give me one!

W.M. Bear said...

Black Irish: Fill one coffee cup half full of cheap scotch. Make a half cup strong instant coffee (no cream, no milk, no sugar). Pour steaming hot instant coffee onto cheap scotch. Take sizable sips while sitting at monitor and keyboard. Works wonders for writer's block. (Two Black Irish work even more wonders but definitely stop at two!)

Mac said...

WMB--

Hey, if Black Irish drowns out the sound of my neighbor's TV, I'm sold!

W.M. Bear said...

Can't vouch for TV blankout (a chronic problem for us apt dwellers, I agree) but I did once write a number of poems that actually made their way into a respectable literary mag using this method.