I hit a dead spot in my brain, a pattern of dullness like a slow day at the ocean. Every once in a while, I burnout on my own thinking. I can’t think about anything with clarity. I lose interest in myself. I flatline for a few days. So, it’s risky for me to be writing this right now because I could just run out of words and find myself unable to complete a sente
See what I mean? You know how it feels when your leg falls asleep, that tingling sensation of pins and needles and a slow thickness that inhibits movement. Not a great time to go for a run, and yet I persist. I insist. I have these hours of the day that are blocked out and marked on the calendar as my time, and I must use them, or they are lost forever, like an unrented motel room.
It’s not the first time this has happened to me. There’s a corner of my mind where I’ve built a jail for my ambition. Just like the jail on the Andy Griffith Show, my jail is right in the room with me so I can keep an eye on my incarcerated troublemaker. The black bars of the jail cell go from floor to ceiling, the door makes a loud metal clank when it closes, and there’s a tin cup inside for the incarcerated to sip just enough water to stay alive.
On a day like today my ambition takes that metal cup and drags it along the jail cell bars in a rhythmic jangle, clang and clunk that repeats over and over again, bar after bar, as the cup is pulled back and forth across the metal poles, and my ambition yells, Get to work! Then I write a few words and she yells, Not that! You’re smarter than that! What’s wrong with you? No one cares about that. Write something people care about!
Meanwhile the metal cup is bouncing along the iron bars like a broken machine noise. If your car suddenly made a noise like that, you would stop driving. But I keep going, trying to write through the cacophony of a deranged ego that demands my performance of a very specific activity that has been on the calendar for months with a deadline looming and a marketing plan all mapped out on my idea board, if only I had a finished book.
Time is like the tide going out. I can’t seem to catch it or stop it, and I can’t see where it’s going. It just disappears. I sit and sit and write and write and then it happens. The big catastrophe. I read what I’ve written. And what I read sucks. And that sucks the life out of me. I don’t know what to do next. My brain is collapsing like a balloon losing air and I don’t seem to have the intelligence to fill it…can’t think…vocabulary disintegrating…ideas…limp…losing…memory…Is that you, Mom?…And all I’m left with are hashtags and asterisks, and those words you can’t say on TV. %#*@! And then my mind goes blank.
So, how’s your day going?
2 thoughts on “How’s Your Day Going?”
Ya know at one point I went for the Brill Building journeyman songwriter thing; Gave myself 3 weeks to write a song a day. Ugh. They were all horrible, except one. I got one song in 21 days. Ye olde ebb n flow. I always feel better after I’ve made something up that pleases me, and I get anxious when it’s a void (the creative impulse abandoning me)., but now, at least as I rationalize it, i get it. If nothing’s there, fugedaboudit. Don’t push the river the cliche I most admire and too often forget.
Wish you the best at the dude ranch. Will there be a lotta hot dudes in the stalls, like a cowboy version of a gay bathhouse? In FLA? I doubt it.
I know what you mean about writing music on demand. It can be soul crushing. That’s why I don’t write for magazines. I really don’t care to have someone telling me what to write or how to write it. We do this for ourselves, not them. But it’s nice when they like it.