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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Where the personal ends and the creative begins

I've been finding it hard to write. I got one or two days' inspiration to do two false starts to a story that has been brewing in my head. But that's it. The second story was longer and had more details but I began to slow down when I realized that I was just too close to the story for comfort. I don't want to wear my heart on my sleeve but without that personal anguish the story would lack meat. Is it possible for me to abandon my own story and delve into other people's lives to come up with insights and stories worth publishing? Duh. That's what a writer is for.

Am I lacking in push? Am I waiting for a deadline to threaten me? I think I am. I think I'm waiting for the sky to fall or for hell to freeze over. Writing isn't magical. It's methodical. But it requires that golden moment when the story or the piece comes together in the writer's mind. Then it just somehow flows. Maybe there will be stops along the way but the story has been envisioned and it will pursue its end.

I wonder if I should go ahead and finish the story as is, with all its flaws. With the personal just screaming out to be doused and reborn. Or should I douse it now and begin where I haven't looked? Should I revive one of my unfinished stories? Am I beginning to abandon more stories instead of finishing them?

Who will care?

Aaargh. Writer's block again.

Things to do when encountering writers' block (except sleep, surf and watch TV, all of which will leave you really far away from the task at hand). The procrastinator's top ten:

- Cut your nails (long enough to distract but a short total amount of time).
- Read your old journals. Maybe there's another story or another poem. (Again, so hard to reconfigure the deeply personal, though).
- Exercise (physical instead of mental anguish, but overall, temporal)
- Eat (the worst possible alternative. Preparing your own snacks has its rewards.)
- Read a short story or finish one chapter of a new book (fresh perspective)
- Take a walk (though, I can't do this in my neighborhood)
- Clean out wallet (organize, not spend)
- Take a picture of anything (with phone or digital camera).
- Write a list of something (can be to do's)
- Try to draw or paint something.

1 comment:

Maan said...

Hi Justin!

So many things have happened since we last met. Youre now married and what a great writer you really are. Tried doing a book? ") Keep in touch!

maan

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