Not my witticism, it’s something I pilfered from my mom or brother, one of them. Blogger’s block. As to differentiate from writer’s block, because you know, bloggers are not writers. Bloggers do something with words, but writing? I think it’s fair to say that blogging is to writing what the 6′ & Under basketball leagues are to the NBA. Related in principle and attempted perception, but…
Blogger’s block occasionally sweeps the countryside of my mind, destroys all creativity in its path, and retreats as suddenly as it appeared. It’s rather frustrating. In my typical manner, I try to deconstruct all anomalies and bothersome incongruencies that plague my existence. Step back, shift the gear into reverse, recreate everything that led up to my cursed dead end. It’s not enough that I know something happened, it’s always the why that matters most to me. The why, so I can hopefully prevent it from repeating, or barring that, having an understanding of its constituent parts, and thus a sense of control. It’s the control, man. I can live with having bad days, but I want to know why the day is bad and why I sit in front of the computer sometimes and completely lose the ability to give life to words. Blogger’s block for me is not the inability to write; it’s the inability to come up with enough bullshit to write about. Blogger’s block is lack of initiative, of creative spark. Almost anyone can write (check out the blogosphere if you have any doubts) but not anyone can pull a clever idea out of their ass and set it down in an entertaining manner. Therein stems my sense of blogger’s block, though I’m not shameless enough to sit here and purport to do anything remotely entertaining or interesting. You get the idea, damnit.
Well in my self-deconstruction I have found one factor which throws a bucket of cold water on my creativity. Get this.
It’s contentment for chrissakes. If I happen to be happy and satisfied and free of conflict or latent hostilities, I will not have shit to write about. Happiness sucks. Happiness fucks me up. It ruins my blog flow. Fuck you happiness and the bigass white horse you rode on.
If I string along a few days of happiness this goddamned blog will suffer. I’ll start to write ponderous and pointless shit, like that weird meandering thing I put together last night. What the hell was that? It was me trying to sound edgy when all edginess has been ironed right the fuck out of my soul because I was having a good day. Everything was swell. Smile, happy. Content.
Once again, at the risk of bolstering my writing here beyond the shit it is quite capable of being, I believe all great writing stems from human agony and conflict. By “great” I mean writing that actually conveys great insight and wisdom into the human condition. Contented writing fills Reader’s Digest issues and the Hardy Boys readers. Contentment and satisfaction neuter vibrant and innovative ideas. The genesis of novel approaches and electrifying literature occurs in the roots of human misery and the author’s ability to embrace it and speak to it. All great conversations and discussions require an element of tension. Tension is the fuel of great writing. Tension that is spawned by the author’s perception of the ideal state of existence versus the actual shitty state of existence he sees. If these two variables coalesce and meet in the author’s mind, what reason is there to write other than to entertain? Obviously there is a time and place for everything, and writing as entertainment serves a legitimate purpose. I would not call that “great” writing, however.
Inner torment is a raucous and disruptive private voice that seeks release, to unwind its tension and repressed agony. It seeks expression in constructive or harmful ways, but it must be expressed.
So it occurred to me (for various private reasons) that I’ve been in a rather content mood this week, it all snapped into place. My blogger’s block is really nothing other than a good fucking mood and absolute peace of mind.
How on earth can this be?
See, it’s not that my life is going that great.
I’m still facing the same ol’ shit, different day, as the saying goes. Nothing has changed externally, my environment remains the same agonizing cluster fuck it’s always been.
No, the internal mechanism of my psyche has firmed up this week. I’m unflappable, motherfuckers. I’m riding on a high. This oblivious and ignorant short-sightedness sorta saps me of mental and creative strength. Tension has left.
Self-mortification, where art thou?
If there are any doubts as to my level of impermeable mania, the fact I endured tonight’s public trans commute entirely unscathed, and in fact in better spirits than when I boarded, speaks volumes. There are days I literally sit on the train and bus the entire ride home and barely notice that I’m sharing space with so many people. And there are days where certain distinguishable characters just flow right out of the badly decorated plasticwork. The minute I reached the platform at the Hollywood/Vine Red Line tonight, I should have known things were going to take a freakish turn. First of fall, this tall, thin 50ish guy wheels his 10-speed by me and he is singing which is not unusual in Hollywood. Everyone sings to themselves in this town and private concerts do not necessarily connote insanity. This dude’s skinny jeans, however, denoted something, not sure what. And when you do see people singing to themselves, more often than not they are singing some unintelligible obscure personal tune which no one in the world can possibly recognize. After skinny jeans bicyclist found the spot he wanted to wait at, he began belting out the song louder until I recognized it. His skillful voice surprised. He carried the tune really well, he was singing Mad World by Tears for Fears, a nice little foray into some 80s despondent wave. The song made its cameo in Donny Darko and the guy at the Metro station was giving us an A cappella private rendition. It was quite striking. Those stations are usually quiet unless a train is pulling up or pulling away, but for those few precious seconds, there was silence while he sang Mad World with all the forlorn intensity a 50-year old man in skinny jeans in Hollywood could summon. When my train pulled up he quieted down, undoubtedly dismayed that his biggest listener and most avid fan would be leaving him behind. I secretly hoped he would board the train and finish off the song in the comfort of the speeding train, but it was not to be.
That was the highlight of my trip home. The remainder of the bus ride was suffused with odors, of someone sneaking the foulest fart in the rear of the overly crowded bus. The odor was so putrid and sour that it literally triggered my gag reflex. Within minutes, the odor finally subsided, but almost immediately, a gangster couple boarded and sat in the back, of course. The girl sat by me and every time she moved I would get a whiff of that nasty crack cocaine smell, the smell it leaves in the pores of people after time has passed. Obviously these two were not headed to church.
Actually, maybe this would explain why my mood was merrier as I left the bus…