Monday, August 23, 2004

Writing About Not Wanting to Write

When I created this blog, it was to force myself to write. After all, I declared to no one in particular, I wanted to strengthen my writing, for professional reasons. Working in a communications department, I figured it would probably be a good idea to write well -- not that everyone who works in communications is necessarily a good writer, or even a good communicator, but that's the subject of another post.

I promised myself that I would put up at least one post a week, thus forcing myself to keep thinking and keep writing. However, after a week of nasty PMS, I didn't want to do much except flip channels, so I wasn't particularly in the mood to write. My period finally came, the psychological spell was broken, and I came up with a topic -- writing about not wanting to write.

Actually, it is more than not just wanting to write. It is hopelessness, the great de-motivator. I fear very few things more than hopelessness. I think about the introduction of the dementors in the Harry Potter series (see book three -- Prisoner of Azkaban). Dementors are dark creatures that suck out your soul and leave you with nothing. Nothing. Their environmental presence is felt when you suddenly think you'll never be happy again or that nothing good will ever come your way again.

I'm also a musician, and I must confess to not doing what I do on a regular basis. Why should I? There is someone younger, better looking, and infinitely more talented than I, so there is no point. Or worse, there is someone not nearly as talented as I who is successful, exceedingly so, so why should I bother. This virus of hopelessness grips me by the throat and won't let go until the fever breaks, and I can't even tell you what breaks it.

We live in a fear-driven world, and hopelessness is one of the symptoms of fear. What the hell am I so afraid of? Yes, if I want to sell my product, be it my poetry, essays, songs, or keyboard skills, someone has to like it enough to want to buy it or I can't sustain myself. Yet, the improvement of my product isn't the issue -- it's approval. Feeling hopeless makes me feel that no one likes me enough, just me, to be interested in what comes out of me. If they can't get past the outside layers, what's on the inside isn't compelling, and I don't care enough to focus on the craft, the art, what's inside because I can't shake the hopelessness, the despair.

And yet, being stuck with what's happening on and just below the surface is keeping me from going deep within to just exhume what's inside. It's good, though, really good. You'll like it, honestly. Or at least I hope you do -- I hope you do, with every fiber of my being, because if you don't I think I'll die.

So, perhaps I'm not without hope after all. I just need to do what my mom swore by when I was sick as a child -- sweat out the fever. Feel like shit, and do it anyway. Write. Play. Sing. Think it will be hated, and do it anyway. Once the fever breaks, I'll feel better, I hope.

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