Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Just Can't Help Myself So Get Out Your Tiny Violins.

It's hit and miss, mostly. There are days when I can't figure out a single reason to write another word, then there are stretches, months at at time, when I can't stop. The work feels so urgent and important then.

Today I'm looking for a reason.

There are times when writing just doesn't seem to be serving a practical need in my life or the life of anyone else I care about. Practical. It's a nice, clean word, and completely irrelevant in the world of art. I have two degrees, one of which is the highest degree that can be earned in my field of study, and I'm plugging away at two jobs and still going under.

Practical.

It would have been practical of me to pick up a trade skill along the way. It would have been smart to have escaped from the university on my first night, tossed my books, my writing, my oh-so-lofty ideals of intellectualism and found a hammer, a welding torch, a pair of pliers. I should have been thinking bricks and mortar, but instead I was in the clouds, prepped to be blindsided. I should have been studying tools and trade instead of writing stories.

Regret's not the right word, but it's close.

Whining is the right word. Feel free to say so.

6 comments:

  1. You're not whining, Sheldon. You've just got a case of the blues, maybe a bit of nostalgia brought on by the holidays. But I hear you, and I can relate. Truly.

    The best I can say is take some vitamin D, get some exercise, maybe build something with your hands. Just for you. And hang in there. The tide always comes back in.

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  2. What do you do for money? It's too late to change your college major, but learning a new blue collar trade is always within reach. Or it was twenty years ago. Maybe things have changed with the service economy or The Great Recession , I dunno.

    I hate to think those lean years I spent welding, machining, and repairing were some golden good-ole-days, and today I'd be wiping butts or flipping burgers. Sheesh.

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  3. There's a balance I think, between what we create with our hands and our minds. Rome was indeed brick and mortar, but the idea that was Rome was just as strong and has glazed that era with immortality.

    Indeed, do something with your hands. When I get frustrated with my writing, if I continue to write, it turns out bad (see my latest "Faces" in the workshop to see what I mean). Two things that help me are working out and making dreamcatchers. Both involve great, tactile focus and you'd be amazed at how easily your mind wanders and where it goes.

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  4. Thanks for the advice, guys. I really appreciate it. It's just a yearly funk. I'll snap out.

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  5. It's hit and miss, mostly. There are days when I can't figure out a single reason to write another word, then there are stretches, months at at time, when I can't stop. The work feels so urgent and important then.

    This couldn't encapsulate my life any better.

    Keep on keeping on, Shel.

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  6. Thanks, Dave. That's all we can do is to keep plugging away, as worn out as it sounds and can get at times. Thanks for the lift.

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