Sometimes writing comes naturally, a stream of ideas flowing unimpeded over the rocks. And sometimes it feels like pushing a boulder upstream with your nose. Stuff gets cluttered and jammed in the currents, the water evaporates and you’re trying to swim in the mud.
Okay, enough with the analogy. Right now it’s rough going. The ideas are swampy and stagnant. I’m listening for the language, the voices, and everyone’s talking over each other like a bad episode of “The West Wing”. Slow down, I can’t hear wtf you’re saying, one at a time, please.
Every writer goes through it, I guess. Digging for gold without a shovel, scraping at the clay bare-knuckled, in the wrong spot. It’s not a bad thing, but not productive. I wouldn’t call it writer’s block because I’m still digging, still trying to find a small chunk of gold. Scrape together a word or two, and then three, and then a trickle, a bubble of undercurrent, and there he goes back to the river analogy.
I could blame the weather (cold; winter; uggh), and I could blame my job (cold; demanding; uggh), or I could just blame the minutia of details in a day, the step-by-step procedural. Or it could just be — go ahead and say it — a logjam: too many ideas, or not enough ideas but too many words climbing over each other. The rhythm of the dance is out of whack, trying to do the tango with a bullfrog. Something.
Maybe it’s trying to find a follow-up to Ordinary Handsome. That one filled my belly. Good or bad (and I think it’s good), it’s hard act to follow. I’m still digging for that next chunk of gold.
As the Boss says,
“Now those memories come back to haunt me
they haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true
Or is it something worse
that sends me down to the river
though I know the river is dry
That sends me down to the river tonight.”*
*”The River” by Bruce Springsteen