Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I have nothing to write and I am writing it....

with apologies to John Cage*

So, the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter for me and my crazy schedule. The stressful (and expensive) chaos I talked about in the last entry has mostly subsided, and one-by-one I'm checking things off my list. So, in between things, I'm delighted to return to the world of blogging.

I think.

If only I had something to say.

So this is a miniature version of the typical writer's curse I've experienced for years: when one is too busy to write, confined by the unpleasant constraints of practical life, the ideas and inspirations seem to come in literal waves. On the way home from work, or dashing between one meeting and the next, I am struck with a list of great ideas I could write IF I just had time! There are future article ideas, plans for maternity leave, and even a couple of little seeds that could one day become terrible novels...

Sometimes I find time and energy to scribble these ideas down as I go, and occasionally they even make sense when I look at them down the road. But for the most part, they are lost to oblivion, filed in that mental vortex called "Later" (which, it turns out, contains only a lonely, hungry goat and an empty desk where the office temp seems to be constantly "on break.")

So of course, by the time I need to retrieve these fabulous ideas, they are either completely missing or just a shell of their former selves -- with none of their original energy and spark. So I sit staring at the blank screen, looking out the window, flipping through the channels.... And it all somehow seems to evaporate.

I suspect I'm not alone in this -- I'm sure there is a wide group of frustrated writers, artists, photographers, scrapbookers, etc., complaining that their demanding lives don't allow them to do what they love, and then coming home every evening to melt unproductively in front of the boob tube.

And I also suspect that we all know the answer to the dilemma, the old Nike slogan that pervades the consciousness of anyone who lived through the 1990's. Just do it.

Just start writing, filming, blogging, snapping pictures, making friends, dancing, bowling, gardening.... whatever it is. You have to start and hope that the creative energies and success will eventually follow. The temp will return to her desk, and maybe the old goat will regurgitate something delicious from the "Later" file that can become "Now, Now, Now."

There are no guarantees that what will emerge will be genius or anything close to it (and if you've made it through the blog to this point you may be nodding vigorously in agreement). But the only absolute guarantee is this: if you don't start, the results will speak for themselves.

"I have nothing to say, and I am saying it."
-- John Cage