Thursday, September 01, 2005

I don't believe in writer's block

No such thing, doesn't exist. I believe in Laziness, in Every Word I Type is Shit, in Getting Stuck for Too Long on One Chapter, in No Ideas, but I don't, don't, don't believe in Writer's Block. It's Santa Claus and the Devil with a pointy tail and Odin and the Tooth Fairy. Doesn't exist.


Something creeps in on me, an almost-belief sliding up under my hairline when I'm sitting on the bus, wishing something like this would happen (I live in San Francisco, I ride the bus - where's my half-naked crazy lady?), all the while arrested, staring openly at the beautiful woman/girl standing near the front, half-crouched, eyes rolling wildly around, she looks Malaysian maybe, black hair neatly pulled back, beautifully embroidered jacket and badly stained sweat pants, mouth half open, eyes terrified, the bus comes to a stop and she lunges for a seat like it's a lifeboat, brushes perfectly manicured fingers over her shining hair and breathes again, eyes calmer, but focusing on nothing.

And I think, I should be able to use that. But it goes nowhere, I'm mystified by her, I want to stay on the bus and follow her around, read what's scrawled on that manila folder she holds, ask her name and listen to the voice she speaks in, but I have to get to work, I have to get off the bus and walk the same seven blocks I walk every morning, my brain running over and over the next chapter in my book, why can't I get past this one part? and I look up, I'm already there, already climbing the steps to the office and I've come up dry, again.

But I don't believe in writer's block. I can't, because if I did, I would have it.


jkirlin said...

You clearly don't have it.

Chemical Billy said...

Thanks jk, I was fishing -!

Caryn said...

Beautiful post! Your thoughts on writers' block remind me of the following Onion article: Might want to check it out. It's hilarious!

I'm glad to see that at least one other person in the blogging world knows how to make links open to a new page instead of navigating away from the original page. So helpful, yet so rarely done.

Thanks for visiting my blog, by the way. I love living in Utah. Glad my photos bring back some pleasant (I hope!) memories! I'm only finishing my book this quickly because I'm meeting with an agent in a month, and I want to be able to tell her that the book is finished.

Chemical Billy said...

Anna, that's a freaking beautiful link. I have a friend who is a welder - he's getting that!

Caryn said...

Glad you liked it. I have it from an Onion page-a-day calendar, and I look at it from time to time, both for laughter and for motivation.