Friday, July 31, 2009

Even A Wacky Title's Drawing A Blank

I am tapping this out at work, which I am rather pleased with because I am on my own in the entire company. Some might say I’m ‘running the place’ myself, because I am. Thus I am able to do at work that which I never normally do; my own shit.

I sit with my back to the office. My monitor can be viewed by everyone, which has forced me to become diligent and conscientious every fucking minute of the day. With ringing phones and a constant stream of customers just turning up, as they are wont to do, even my lunchbreaks are brief and sporadic - so trust me when I say how therapeutic writing this is right now.

But it’s more than therapeutic. It’s also something of a rarity. You see, over the last week, something strange has happened. It’s extremely aggravating but I’m taking it in my stride, convinced that it’s all part of my natural, fucked up brain chemistry and ultimately I’ll snap out of it. I think it’s popularly known as writer’s block. I’d always thought that a respectable, bona fide creative obstruction was a maddening stare at a blank page or computer screen but in my case, it’s that with a strange dash of peace. I can’t quite explain it. It’s like watching someone lead a marathon and, just as the end is in sight and they’re about to cross, they come to a standstill and just look around, thinking.

I should be mad at myself for spending last weekend throwing beige food down my throat as I watched anything on Youtube, spending every waking minute in front of my computer doing absolutely no writing at all despite opening my 230-page document only to immediately ignore it. I should even be annoyed that all this week after work, I’ve written the collective total of just one paragraph but strangely, I don’t care. I really can’t explain it. In fact, I’m rather amused by it, as if my subconscious wants to punish my positivity and taking charge of my life by obstreperously making me stop.

However, it’s Friday morning. I love Fridays. They are your golden teenage years, when you were thinner, and less cynical, and less wrinkly, in day form. Fridays beckon in long lie-ins, and gentle ambles, and bestow upon you your own time to do with as you please (unless you work in a shop). And with mine, I’m choosing to give myself an ultimatum; If I cannot use this weekend to reverse this bizarre writing rut, if I cannot slap myself around the head, crack on and just finish this, then I may as well give up. And if nothing gives and everything's as good as over, I should just accept that and give in to that strange thought that’s popped back into my head whenever life has got too much:- Leave. Run. Flee.

This has taken the form of a daydream where I tell my boss I quit, tell my flatmate I’m leaving, and get on my bicycle and pedal away. I have pondered this for some time now, thoughts of filling my rucksack and cycling to France, then Italy, then central Europe, and never stopping until I attain nirvana or get laid, whatever comes first, although I strongly suspect neither.

Yet I’m well aware that I’ve run away from myself before, only to find that the fucker’s gone and followed me.

So yeah. There we go. One big existentialist burp of nothing.
Hey ho. I guess I’d better get back to my day job.
Have a good weekend, all.


Dandelion said...

That's exactly what happened to me! It's lasted about 4 years and still going strong.

Girl Friday said...

Don't run away! How very common of you. Tackle it head on (sorry channeling your American ex here) kick its arse and then take names. Pain is temporary, pride is forever.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Bloody hell Fwenge, that post was almost positive. Something strange is definitely happening in your brain.

Writers block is just one of those things, it's a writer's way of having a bad day at work. Some get bike punctures, or their dogs get ill so they can't walk it, or they pull a tendon...we just can't find the words. Equally frustrating as a physical impediment, I find.

Z said...

You have a good weekend too, dear Fweng. Day jobs are so overrated.

Ellie said...

Agree with Jo & Z -

You are sounding just shy of positive here! Wow!

Day jobs are sooooo overrated. Is it already almost Monday??

Peach said...

I'd say embrace it - it means you've previously been working hard and you need a break - get smoking! get drinking ! eat shit! moan more !


hug to you as always xxx

luna said...

Maybe you need a change of means of production: how about writing in the park/nero caff/the bathroom with pen and pad?

Also please don't do a runner on your bike.You'd only get as far as the Old Kent road before you're hit by an Anchor Butter lorry.
you know that.

looby said...

You're always a bit more perky writing about writing, even when it's about not being able to write.

looby said...

You're always a bit more perky writing about writing, even when it's about not being able to write.

jason quinones said...

"art never comes from happiness"

saw that quote somewhere. i truly believe it. it's not ALWAYS the case but it usually is. when was the last time you read a good book or saw a good movie about a happy well adjusted person???

sometimes you need the road blocks to help you get you over the big hill. i try to remember that whenever i'm feeling artistically constipated. it's better than drinking yourself to death over it. but usually not as interesting.

Sonny Amou said...

Jason's totally right. To that I'd add when you're in a blissful state, one loses sight of the impetus (usually some awful catalytic moment, image, person, et cetera), in turn the drive to flesh it out on paper also disappears. I've lost the green fairy more than once, it happens.

Man, maybe you just take a break for a day or two...? Help a friend in the garden, go for a bike ride, or look through CDs in the record store. Anything. Let yourself recharge.

Long way of my saying I'd kill to have five chapters in the can in the time you've completed them. Good luck to the finish.


luna said...

well it's Tolstoy who said that.

his wife would rather he'd been wrong though.her diary's a vale of tears.

fwengebola said...

Dand ~ Keep going until your eyes bleed!
GF ~ I can’t help it. I’ve got such mixed feelings about the whole damn thing.
PDEWYMO ~ Yeah, sorry about that. I think I’m so close to the end that I’m actually cheering up. It’s all rubbish though.
Z ~ Day jobs are more than overrated; they’re the antichrist, in work form.
Ellie ~ Actually, it’s Tuesday over a week later. Sorry for the delay.
Peach ~ Woo! Look at you, all happy and on holiday. I’m now on crack, so thanks for your advice.
Luna ~ I’ve tried writing in places other than my dank room, but I’m scared someone will glance at my work and try to kill me. Thanks for your optimism of my cycling skillz.
Looby ~ You think? Personally, I’m looking forward to having my normal life back and not getting preoccupied over all this.
JQ ~ There’s never been a movie or book about happy, well adjusted person that I can think of, unless they’re a friend of the infinitely more miserable protagonist. Unsurprisingly, my story is full of cynical, bitter people, as well as being not very good.
Sonny ~ My green fairy’s flirting with coming back in. What helps is I’ve given myself the deadline of finishing by the end of this week. I’m now churning out the awfulness in spades. I would take time off to browse, but I’d only extend that into a three-week period of laziness.
Luna (again) ~ Tolstoy said “look through CDs in the record store”? He was more ahead of his time than I thought.

luna said...

No of course not,he would hate the concept of cds and internet as they take one away from reading proper (his) books.
he said happy people don't make for great literature.

methinks if everybody were happy there would be no need for novels anyway so that's a bit of a circular argument.

His wife was very frustrated and she read a lot too.

fwengebola said...

You seem rather obsessed with Tolstoy's wife.