I’ve heard it said, and I know it’s well perceived that writers have an easy way with words. Some do, I’m sure, but I’m not one of them.
My brilliance is confined to moments and sometimes moods that last a few days. Two things are important to awakening the brilliance, plenty of sleep and plenty of coffee.
Unfortunately, a severe deficit of sleep can’t be compensated for with and abundance of caffeine. Hence, the reason I’m stuck.
Every two-bit writer has an instruction manual on how to write a novel, and some aspiring writers take the texts as gospel, rigidly conforming to the prescribed method used by this or that particular writer. However, the fact remains that what works for one person does not always work for another.
For me, a method that works today might not work for me tomorrow, and some days the juice just refuses to flow. For me, the trick is to figure out how to unclog the pipes.
Which leads to this little post. It probably should be a post about some resolution to write more or read more or a new diet I’m going to try or a new exercise routine I’m going to start, but a wise Millennial once told me you can’t break a resolution you don’t make.
New Year resolutions are fads, made as part of the herd instinct to conform, hence the fact they are short-lived. They usually lack the heart necessary to last.
The only person I’ve known to complete a New Year resolution was one of my firefighting buddies who quit smoking three years ago. He’s still quit.
For me, that was my third failed attempt.
Resolutions for a new year date back millennia, probably beyond the time of the Babylonians, but it has been handed down to the Romans from whom the Christians likely adopted the practice for lent if not the calendar year. Its origins are based in religion, but every major gym and weight loss company now exploits this ancient practice which results in a mockery of the whole tradition, the commercialization of all that defines our culture.
As a side-note, I find it ironic how some folks praise capitalism to death one minute then bemoan how commercial the holiday seasons are, especially the fact that Christmas now starts in September. Well, welcome to the biggest, unnoticed impact of capitalism upon our society! We are now Whoville before the Grinch steals Christmas, giving and expecting gifts simply because its the thing to do.
Fortunately, this commercialization has raised Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Days in prominence. I say fortunately, because winter is a bleak season on the north prairie and the white landscape gets old to look at. So bright colors go a long way in breaking up the monotony.
Which is why it used to be my best writing season. Since much wasn’t going on, and I had nothing to do but kill time, I could write an entire novel and do most of the edits, passing time and getting a break from winter boredom. Then work got in the way. Work always gets in the way, right?
To do this writing thing right, I should quit working and just write. Unfortunately, I was not granted wealth as one of three wishes. So, practically, that is not an option. Besides, how would I get my understanding of humanity and inspiration holed up in some cabin in the woods?
I’ve met more than a few aspiring writers who have master’s degrees or higher in English who write good sentences and paragraphs but whose characters lack the psychological dynamism of real life. A person has to live to understand people, and being a recluse does not accomplish that.
It would be nice to not have to work so much, but in reality, what capitalist doesn’t want a bigger return on their investment, right? That’s just good business.
Besides, I take pride in what I do. Yesterday, I spent a chunk of time fixing lights on the ambulances. Maybe it was because I watched a few episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” yesterday morning, but I felt like the cocky ace pilot who can fine-tune her craft just the way she likes it to run and ride. Well, honestly, I’m not that good of a mechanic, but I am proud of my ability to drive.
Also, I might be 30-something, but what’s wrong with taking a few moments to exist in a fantasy.
So I’ve got some ideas in the works. Some are resurrected from the dusty pile of old notebooks and parts of notebooks which I’ve scribbled in since grade school.
Last week I was picking through them and found several which I never finished. There are several more which I’ve thinned out and pared down into three-ring binders, and I’m a little embarrassed at how much my teen-aged mind repeated itself.
Most of it reads like an Emily Dickinson poetry collection, the same three stories varying in setting a little with the same characters, stuck in the same circling plot.
At least now, I understand how to move the story forward, or so I opine.
Which offers a perfect segue out of this post. It’s time for me to move on. I guess I’ll go home and dig out some of my books on writing. Maybe I’ll get some ideas which will get me unstuck.