The Block

Frustration1.jpgI can’t seem to write stuff any longer. Ideas are few and far between and when they do appear, attempting to make something come of them is always abortive. There are many possibilities that could be causing this. I’ve thought of a few.

Am I writing for myself or others? Should I be writing for one, the other, both or neither? Is this the wrong question? Writing for myself means I’ll never write because I find other things more fulfilling. Writing for others means I need others to write for, which means I have to decide who to write for. This paragraph makes me feel dirty.

When I do write, it is pretty formulaic. I sort of think of it as weaving. That might put me in a rut though. I think this might have something to do with always trying to find the appropriate conceit to write with. Should I always need some sort of conceit to write? I can already tell I am putting too many rules and requirements on trying to write stuff. I don’t think it can be done with a checklist.

The stuff I’ve written that I like best always gets the response ‘i don’t understand it, but i like it.’ This destroys me. The stuff I’ve written that I like best is chock full of references to things, so I guess I assume a certain amount of intelligence in the reader, or at least enough knowledge to understand the references. This is at odds with my desire to write things that people can engage in. My doggerel stuff comes closest to this, but it is trite to a great degree. I’ve tried stopping the references and I think this might have contributed greatly to my ever deepening stagnation.

Maybe I should write like children do. I still thankfully engage the world like a child and my imagination is quite childish. These are good. Maybe I should try to work in a Shel Silverstein vein.

Maybe I shouldn’t write at all. I’m better at putting things together than I am at creation. Thus I enjoy film editing, writing poems using references already loaded with meaning, and shuffling layers of meaning and connotation together in regard to pseudo-intellectual discourse. I have the mind of an engineer, the soul of an artist and not enough drive or direction to succeed at either. I’m pulled, pushed, churned, turned, stretched and squashed in too many directions to be able to effectively settle on one.

I ended many sentences in this entry with a preposition.

• Also, I don’t think anyone cares whether they read something I write or not. Or feels comfortable offering feedback. So it is hard to find a reason to work.