It’s been a full month since I last wrote anything here. I was working on throwing together a party and getting things ready for a quarterly inspection. My mind was elsewhere. But the party came and went, and a phone call from the estate agent cancelled the inspection. And still, I didn’t write.
This past month, I haven’t written much of anything. I don’t really know why. I suppose I got caught up with other tasks, such as doing some work for the art stuff and looking for a full-time job. Though it wasn’t entirely a matter of not having time. It was more a matter of having no clear idea what to say.
I go through phases with this sort of writing. I churn out post after post for a little while and then just hit a wall where I don’t know why I’m bothering. Different things will put that wall in front of me, but it always pops up for one reason or another. There’s always a sense that I’m tilting at windmills here.
Even now, I’m thinking of all the things I should be doing instead of writing. I think of all the failures and problems and don’t seem to get entirely over that mental hurdle that tells me that writing will solve none of that.
And it won’t. Well, most likely.
I began work on a bigger project a little while ago and still haven’t gotten anywhere substantial with it. The idea is still forming, but still… I should be able to do something with it. But I haven’t.
I’m also fighting with the ever-present fear of association. If I write something, whether fiction or non-fiction, it gets ascribed to me as a person. It gets ascribed to everyone I know as people who know me as a person. We all endlessly draw comparisons between what we read and our own lives. It’s what the best writing does, engulfing the reader until the reader is nothing without the writing. The writer gets left with all the readers’ assumptions, though. That’s the part I can’t get past, no matter how hard I try.
I’m obsessively interested in human failings, whether they’re failures of production or deep character flaws. That’s what makes things interesting. That’s what you strain to overhear at restaurants. Perfection is boring. But nobody wants to be tied to their flaws. Nobody wants the light shone on their fuck ups.
No matter what the circumstance, there are always feelings involved and always the chance that you’ll be injuring somebody’s pride. In the end, it comes down to how much you care about the feelings of others. It’s easy enough to call some distant celebrity a cunt on Twitter, but so different to call the neighbour an bastard to their face. When it’s all down in writing, it’s a weird thing to grapple with.
But I need to write what I’m going to write. I need to accept the plight of the writer and get on with things.