For you, the dress code is casual.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

revenge of the caps-hating form-filling office type (and thoughts on writing)

i have a post-it note sticking limply to the top of my monitor and it reads, "write anything".

write. about anything. whatever hits. write. fuck grammar, to hell with punctuation, just write.

the desire to write isn't there right now. i don't care to do it. i don't want to do it. i'm not sure i get anything out of it. and i know that's temporary, 'cos i don't feel like that about writing. writing's a hard thing for me and fails to ever come easily, but it tends to be worth the grief because it's the only way i have to get to know myself the way i want. that sounds dumb, doesn't it?

but there i go, overthinking it again. there's this Anne Lamott book, Bird by Bird, in which she talks about being so stumped for writing a report once in grade school. her father, noticing her frustrations, asked her what the trouble was. she told him she was feeling overwhelmed by this report she had to write on birds.

he shrugged and replied, "just take it bird by bird."

and that's the thing. we writers go through these stupid fucking phases in which nothing we say is brilliant and nothing feels true. maybe it strikes a chord with others, but for us it rings flat and hollow. then that phase may begin to slip away from us, but the overthinking and excessive judgment becomes a recurring theme.

see, it's confidence, pure and simple. we begin judging every little thing we say. while that judgment may occur 24/7 anyhow, it's conducted differently. how, exactly? well, when things are good, we're looking for the positives and we try to play them up as best we can. we may edit, but we edit for the good in things. when things are going badly, the motivation changes. we start looking for our weaknesses, failings, and redundancies. no surprise, then, when that's exactly what we should find.

i'm going through that phase. i'm judging everything -- so much so that i've been avoiding editing. why? maybe i'm afraid i'll discover something terrifying... like a well-written sentence that might cause me to feel pressured to recreate that event down the road.

i'm beginning to force myself through it, though.

i've been withholding the writing from myself for just long enough that i'm beginning to feel as though i've been missing out on something. as i was told by a poseur friend of mine who claimed he was quoting Robertson Davies, "a writer ought not write until the thought of not writing becomes unbearable."

well, i've been ignoring shit sufficiently this week, and when i went to take a look at my blog, the server had failed. apparently my site was down for a while. fluke that i should log on just then after nearly 2 weeks of unbridled apathy, but there you have it. the first reaction? "whatever." then? "my blog!" i felt the first pangs of pain and loss -- what if all my work was gone, censured by the gods that be? what if? ah, terror. terror! for all of 22 seconds. then i chilled and figured it'd be back up in a few hours. heh.

but i'm starting to feel something again. it's been a very blah, unfeeling couple of weeks. just fatigue or something, i guess. it's been a hell of a few years, eh? it's not too big a surprise that i should feel some semblance of calm and peace -- aka apathy and self-imposed downtime -- after i should reach the end of my three-month probationary period on the new job. maybe it's some kind of transition, and a low point was necessary before a new plateau could rumble up out of my newly-leveled earth. shrug.

i did begin something today i think might assist me, though. i began chiropractic treatment. this new dude does cranio-sacral work and stuff, and i think he might help me become more clearheaded. a lot of people have mentioned cranio-sacral therapy to me over the years. what with having three concussions and four cases of whiplash, this old noggin's taken some beatings.

i honestly have never been as clearheaded as i used to be before my scooter accident, y'know. something about me changed that day and it's never gone back. i've always known that, but maybe this is just evidence on a different level. i've certainly never been ready to tackle that before. now maybe i am.

got to wonder, too, if it all might just be some built-in safety measure to prevent one from looking too deeply in those dark corners. some cobwebs don't need rustling. i mean, there are things i still know i've never really had the courage to write about, and the thought occurs to me that i might just be nearly strong enough to finally Go There. maybe subconsciously i know it's really time i force the issue and take a look in those corners after all. i mean, it really has been a hell of a year. why not go all the way, huh?

more food for thought, i guess. speaking of food, i've some jasmine rice needing cooking.