Friday, December 26, 2008

writer's block

i feel uncreative. it used to be that my mind would be wandering aimlessly and i'd suddenly have this spark of inspiration, and i'd run over to my computer and quickly write down whatever phrase had come into my head. i could sit and write for hours; the stories seemed to pour out of me in a river of words and everything was fresh and new.

now i sit down and try to write and nothing comes. blank. even recording my day in a journal or in a blog seems trite and mundane. did my life become less exciting, or did i just use to see reality differently?

what is more, lately i look back on most of the things that i wrote and now they seem like crap to me. at least my thesis has some merit–not a whole lot, but some–and i would love to sit down and rethink it. but my fiction, my characters, my plots that i imagined were so unique and witty–they were all just imitations of already published works, other people's genius, poorly mocked by me. i am not a Poet, it seems.

how do writers write as they do? where does that holy fire come from–the flame that supplies all of the energy and wit that becomes translated into the classic novels that stagger me by their greatness? i could never write like austen, or doestoevsky or shakespeare, or faulkner. actually i could write like faulkner but i believe in punctuation. no, that's not fair. he won a nobel prize. anyway, lately i feel bummed that i'm not writing inspired, passionate works about the meaning of life.

maybe because i haven't found out yet what it is.


Andy White said...

I feel the same way. It takes more to excite my writing psyche these days. I think our inner self-critic has grown larger with age. Things we used to think were "the shit" have now, in our minds, been reduced to, well, shit.

If it makes any difference to you, I find you to be a highly entertaining writer with a pound and a half of bean flare.

The writers you've mentioned are so rare. Think about how many humans have been blessed with the education to write, yet we celebrate the work of only a few of them.

Is it a goal of yours to be a creative and published writer?

My personal goal as a writer is to communicate clearly with insight and humor. Anyone who accomplishes this feat and does so consistently, such as yourself, ought to be commended.

The meaning of life, from what I understand, is not a concrete thing (such as 42), but varies depending on the individual. The way I define the meaning of my life is: to discover my best gift and to use it to help the common good.

I haven't yet discovered my best gift, but when I do, I think maybe I'll be a bit closer to the meaning of life. Seems like Austen's and Faulkner's gift was to write stories to help others to discover theirs.

Agatha Wells said...

andy, what an insightful comment. thanks for being entertained by me--that's what i hope to accomplish, at least, when i write.

i don't know if it's a specific goal of mine to be published; i just feel humbled by the ability of these literary figures "write stories to help others discover theirs"--a great way to put it, by the way. maybe it is enough to be one of the admiring multitude.

i don't know if i've discovered my best gift yet, but it comforts me to see that you also believe that we have purpose in everything we do.

i think you have discovered your best gift, though--you make me laugh, and you make me think, too. these are qualities not to be underestimated.

i hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are happy and well wherever you are. i hear from your own blog that you may be going to africa??? incredible. :)

it's not just for the classroom!