Thursday, June 14, 2012

Writer's Block

Sometimes, finding a way to begin a piece of writing is the most difficult. There are over 500,000 words and various word forms in the English language. A person with an average education has somewhere around 20,000 words in their vocabulary, but only use 1,500 of those various words in a week.

500,000 words; Endless topics open for discussion and dissection, and I cannot seem to find a damn thing worth writing about. At the recommendation from a friend of mine, I decided to sit down and write about writer's block. Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines writers block as, "a psychological inhibition preventing a writer to proceed with a piece of writing."If the folks at Merriam-Webster are to be believed...my writer's block is caused by something within me. I am subconsciously restricting myself from beginning the writing process. It is said that we have two types of inhibitions: those that operate unconsciously, and inhibitions that are imposed upon us by societal norms.

Seeing how I've never cared much about offending what society deems normal or proper, I knew it wasn't the latter.

Could it be that I am just exhausted? Could it be that the last 41 days have been so tiring that my brain is screaming, "Pump the brakes, bitch! Everybody on board the Lucy train is tired, and you need to rest." 
I've never before had a problem expressing myself. Probably, I'm too frank; leaving the other half of my conversational party speechless,  with their mouth dangling wide open in shock. I've never believed much in censoring. I think if people said what they felt and meant what they said, then the world would, most assuredly, be a better place.

And, Lo! Here I sit. Staring at the blinking Insertion Point on my blank, white screen. It's almost like the little icon is taunting me. Daring me to say what is really on my mind. Daring me to dig deep, and find the words that I most wish to put into print for the world to read. With every thing I have experienced over the last 41 days, one would think I would have something viable to write about.

My son's brain surgery.
How much I hate hospitals.
Waiting.

Friendship.
Fear.
Thankfulness.
Cell phones, and their accute ability to ring at the worst times.
Unlikely friendships.
Having a bowel movement after four days of terrible constipation. (size, shape and consistency)
How having 388 friends on a social network can often make you feel like the lonliest person in the Universe.


Like anything, the more I think of the why...the more confusing and further away the answers become. Thus, I will do what every single writing teacher has told me to do my entire life. When you're stuck on what to write....write what you know.
I know I have an obscene fascination with my bowels and their functionality.

I know that regardless of how many times I say, "I'm completely comfortable in my body"...I will still stand in front of the mirror for an hour a day, analyzing things.

I know that an immaculate house is a sign of a life not lived to it's fullest.

I know that I miss my granny....especially in moments like this one.

I know that after I type this, I will be spending an hour in my tiny kitchen...scrubbing dishes and longing for the day that I own a dishwasher.

I know after that, I will berate myself for wishing for silly things when there are so many people in the world who have nothing.

I know even though there were countless surgeons, neurologists and nurses assisting my son's brain surgery last week- the only person I will truly remember twenty years from now is, Ryan: A nurse who brought me some pain reliever for my headache while my son was in the Intensive Care
Unit. He had a little pin on his shirt that read, "I care"

I know that sometimes the most comfortable seat in the world is at a good friend's kitchen table with a cup of coffee warming your hands.

I know that the friendships I cherish the most are those that have just sort of "happened".

I know every pair of underwear I own are uncomfortable except my rumba panties, and I can't conceal those underneath anything, thus...I never get to wear them.

I know, this very evening, my flatulence could be easily confused as a trumpet...heralding the return of The Messiah.

I know being in close, physical proximity to someone isn't necessary for a close friendship. Some of my most important friendships are those who I don't see often.

I know the art of using the English language to express one's emotions is a dying art...being replaced daily by an ellipsis of extra letters at the end of words, and z's in place of s's.

I know this makes me sad.

I know that Motherhood causes conflicting emotions in women. We know it's the most important thing we'll ever do with our lives, but we cannot help but feel a bit cheated when being "so and so's mom" encompasses who we are and what we do. (If you try to tell me that you never look at your life, and wonder what it would be like without your kids...the places you would go...the low rise pants and bikinis you could wear...I will call bullshit on that in about five seconds, and cast a voo-doo bitch curse on you.)

I know my belated grandmother owned enough obscure records, cordouroy and indie films to put even the hippest, hipster to shame. She was hip before being hip was a thing, and I dig that about her.

I know I hate my fucking eyebrows. Of all the traits I could inherit from my grandfather's side of the family...I got the crazy-brillow-pad-have-to-be-trimmed-daily-and-heat-styled eyebrows.

I know that regardless of how many truths I write in this quasi-poem format...it won't be enough to cure my writer's block.


I think my problem with writer's block has been that I'm thinking about it too much. I've been focusing on my expansive vocabulary, and grasp of sentence structure. Typing four words, and then hitting the backspace with key strokes so hard they could probably be felt in other continents. Overanalyzing what to write and to phrase it when, in reality, it's all right there. My truth. Things I know to be true. That's all I've ever written about. Moments that I think other's can relate with. Experiences I can share. It's just truth.

In closing, I leave you with this quote by the great modernist writer, Virginia Woolf. "It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top."
I think, my brain might be telling me something:

I may have writer's block because I'm tired, and once I'm rested...and idle...and able to shut things off for a moment....my ability to look beyond the outer facade and write about what lies beneath will return.

Until then...you can expect a lot of stories about my bowel movements.




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