My Car Has Stalled

Here’s the thing. I’ve written three different blogs over the past month or so – none of which have seen the light of day. Why? It’s not that the ideas weren’t there, but my approach wasn’t a good one, and I wasted a lot of time thinking otherwise – like an airplane wanting to land but as it descends, finding it can’t see the painted lines or the flood lights marking the approach because of the fog that’s obscuring it.

My brain has been full of fog for some time now, and I can only hope this isn’t going to be a permanent condition – or worse, terminal. If it is, can someone just shoot me now and put me out of my misery? Almost nothing is getting accomplished, and what little is, seems, in my estimation – well – garbage.

So here I sit having set aside yet another blog post, this one 10 minutes away from being posted. It made it to the finish line, but I don’t believe it’s worth the paper (figuratively speaking) it would have been printed on.

Writer’s Block. Pure and simple.

What else could it be? My brain scan did not register a flat line, so I’ve not been designated brain dead yet. Nor have I been told that my IQ has suffered a massive and untimely descent into the nether regions. I can still think clearly enough to fix myself a cup of tea and even put spaghetti with my own homemade sauce and meatballs on the table, so there must be some residual ability to write, or at least to think, in there somewhere.

Yet this difficulty continues to plague me.

My backup plan remains the reams of pages containing ideas for blogs that I catalog as they come to me when I watch television, listen to songs on the radio, read newspapers or magazines, and when I get ideas from the books I read – and yes, even a Stephen King novel can generate a decent idea for those who might think otherwise.

Of late I have been keeping a writing journal, and yes, I do know how ironic that sounds. One post in it talks about how “lackluster” some of my blogs have been – like some of you, I, too, notice when they’re not that good but sometimes I’ll post them anyway just to keep the blog itself viable. And no, I don’t feel very good about doing that which is the problem now. It’s one of several reasons nothing has gotten out there these past few weeks.

Just having a writing journal, and actually writing in it, has made me accountable to myself. However, I still manage to fail to meet the standards I, myself, have set. Herewith, a few excerpts:

From January: Monday was pretty much a zero…I’ve been writing some each day, so it’s not ‘’as bad as it looks on paper’’ – pun intended. A little bit’s better than nothing – right?

From February: Bill says I’ve ruined my essay about modern dating – for the second time. “It’s not a funny little piece anymore,” he said. Have I gone too far?

From March: As you can tell by the dates, I’ve been doing almost nothing – what is the matter with me?…No real hope of getting anywhere, but I’ll keep trying anyway when I’m not moping around feeling so sorry for myself that I’m immobilized by depression. I hope to pen a quick blog in a day or so as – you guessed it – I’ve fallen down on those, too.

From June: I’m having a dry spell where what I put down on paper sounds great – until I look at it the following morning only to realize what garbage it actually is. Today was the fourth try at a blog that’s long overdue. Well, the 4th of 4 (note to self: the firth of fourth! Private joke here, ask Bill). Each time, each new topic sounds great, as does the first draft. A couple of them never made it to the next draft, though. They were awful, topics that sucked, or maybe it was just the writing that sucked, and I just haven’t faced that yet. What is the matter with me? Nothing seems to be working lately! My car has stalled.

Excuses? I’ve got a million of them. This tells me what, you might well ask. It says “L”oser with a capital “L” – this last, written on a scrap piece of paper and stuffed in my writing journal on the same page as the June entry included here. But it’s looking like the branch of a tree that has finally borne fruit!

I have spurts of mental activity where I can see the cartoon bubble shaped like a light bulb and the word “IDEA” at its center so clearly. Then it’s breaks into pieces that scatter around my feet. If this goes on too long, lethargy and self-loathing settle in and make themselves comfy for the long winter ahead.

But I realize I’m not alone in this. Most of the reading audience raise their hands in agreement. We hear you, they say, and we’re with you on this one.

Well folks, here it is. The blog I thought I couldn’t write. It’s not the one I planned, and my gratitude for your lack of applause for my not posting that one is appreciated. It may never see the light of day, and for that, we might all be grateful.

My car is up and running again, this thing almost having written itself in only about an hour and a half. It’s amazing what one can do when all the pistons are firing. What a relief to find the fog has dissipated and clarity has returned. I hope this time I can keep my momentum from dying.

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