On writer’s block

Obviously I don’t have writer’s block. Yet, there are many things I will never write about because either I don’t care or it’s none of your business. Writer’s block is really about shutting down the creative process and convincing yourself that you have nothing to say, which, given what I know about the human race, is blatantly false. Those who complain about writer’s block are just looking for an excuse to not write, and if you don’t want to write, you really don’t need an excuse, do you? Writing is about both creativity and a lack of shame. If I care what people think about what I write, then I would never get two words on a page, ever. Writers who write do so because they cannot imagine their world in any other way–ink, pens, keyboards, monitors, notebooks, scraps of paper, moments lost to the world while hammering out a haiku. Writing for some of us is just as vital as the blood that runs through our veins. If we couldn’t write, we wouldn’t be able to understand either our lives or our passions. We read, we write, we breathe, we live, and when we have trouble or troubles or concerns or worries, we write to try to figure it out. Writing is not a perfect catharsis for what ails a person, but it does help. When we feel the knock of eternity at our door–someone dies, a love moves on, the world changes–we write in order to listen to our own heart beat, to know that we are still alive, still vital, still worthy, still marching to our own drummer. The world is alive with the smell of fresh ink flowing onto a virgin white blank piece of paper, creating a new way of loving or hating or perceiving or longing or eating or losing or playing or enjoying the whole world. There are times when you hit a perfect phrase–just two or three words that sing, that shine in the darkness, that illuminate a dark area where the monsters come from. And when you do find those two or three words that sparkle in the fog of the mundane existence of an everyday routine, you create magic, and life is really worth living all over again–you understand why you put up with crap, why you try to do better everyday, why you risk failure, why you don’t fear criticism. You write to find your way out of the labyrinth, to understand loss, to contemplate beauty–physical or mystical or ephemeral, to know the unknowable, to experience the inexpressible. Writing is life and life, writing. The blocked writer has given up to frustration and failure, given in to the idea that they have nothing to say or worse, that it has all already been said and that there is no possibility of writing anything new. Poor devil. It has all been said before, but that is not precisely the point–it can always be said again. Humans have very short memories, and writers depend on that so that each generation might rewrite everything again. I know that a writer about six thousand years ago complained that all the good topics had already been written about and that there was nothing new under the sun. He was both right and wrong: there is nothing new under the sun, but that is totally irrelevant because each generation must write their own discourse–political, social, religious, historical, poetical, fictional, polemical. So I write. The muse comes in the door, drinking bourbon and smoking a cigarette with a funny smile on her face. It looks like I’m going to be busy for quite awhile and that my writer’s block will have to wait for another day–tonight I am busy writing, again.