The Writer’s Mire
Last week I fell into a rut, a mire of self-pity that glooms the senses and dulls the wit. These ruts have been occurring with some frequency since last November when I first began writing, though the severity of these ruts has always varied. This last one was probably the worst, just from the length of it.
It all began on the 1st of December, a Saturday night. I’d written well all week and again on Saturday and I was feeling for a break. I drank a bit of parents’ liquor, bought a pint of vodka and went over to a friend’s. We went to the bar and I stumbled home in the fog around three in the morning.
That’s what kicked it off, because the next day I was hungover and I didn’t do shit. The unproductiveness had begun. It’s like you’re speeding down the highway and all is good, momentum carrying you right along and you’re writing well. Then out of nowhere the pavement turns to mud and you get stuck, and once you’re stuck you lose momentum and you learn how true the Law of Inertia really is, because once you’re stuck it’s pretty ugly to get unstuck.
I languished for a week, wanting to pound my head against the wall and lamenting my sorry wordsmith-ing. I believe I was able to get a story or two out, but nothing of significance. I tried to change it up, going to the library, etc, but my libido had disappeared and I got grumpy and for a couple of days there I was just an asshole which, actually, had some positive affect because the reason behind anyone’s ‘asshole-ishness’ is a weak ego — so you’re an asshole to boost your individual will. Like a Red-Bull for my self-esteem it was a quick boost and then a nose-dive.
For about a year now I’ve recognized, as a common factor in these bouts of languish, a certain loneliness. This isn’t to say I’ve been without friends, but since I’ve begun to write I’ve realized a potent need for camaraderie, a close group of fellow writers or anyone, really, motivated by discontent; other artists and vagabonds. Writing is a lonely profession, and it’s all too easy to get lost in the voids of your thoughts.
This is when I drink.
I get mired in self-pity feeling as though I’ve gone the wrong path, should’ve stayed in school and my writing isn’t anything special, I’ve been misled by my own delusions. Bottles bottles bottles. I start to drink to erase these thoughts and, also, it helps me pick around in my brain — back in Columbus sitting alone at the bar, getting disastrously slopped and filling pages pages and pages with introspection. I’ve found this to be a near panacea of mental discordance.
That was how I spent this Monday. I’d grown sick of self-pity and I needed to get out of my head and the only way to do this is to dive right in (my head). So I told my mom I needed twenty dollars to buy writing supplies and I bought a notebook and a flask of Southern Comfort and spent the night drinking and thinking and listening to music.
I knew I’d been here all before and that the only way I’d ever gotten back out was by writing; that in writing I was able to find my true ego and develop and maintain my own libido. That’s where I’d gotten, but it wasn’t so easy to get there. Once you can’t write the Law of Inertia holds true and if you force yourself you reinforce your pity because it always turns out that what you’ve tried writing here is never any good. But there was a way to right my head and I made myself a list. Here is…
A List of Things To Always Know:
1.) I am a genius (narcissistic? no, it’s a necessity and it’s one I got from Kerouac’s Technique for Modern Prose.)
2.) I have a natural tack for clear, descriptive writing
3.) the novel is wonderful story need’s telling
4.) my future is success
5.) after I finish the novel I will take to the road and worry about nothing and I will write and enjoy simplicities of life
6.) after this novel I will find the friends i know I must meet
7.) focus on the wave I wish to ride and know with all of me this wave will bring true desired future
But, and here I’ll botch a paraphrase of Yoda — do not become so blinded by the future that you can not see the here and now, for now is what is important and now I must write. I need to read all of this tomorrow because I’m drinking right now. It’s become that the most of what I write are but attempts to sort out my own confounded thoughts. Understand the need to place faith in the flow, Love the wave you are on and be confident and excited.