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14 March 2009

Writer's Block?

I was speaking with an acquaintance yesterday, who called me from BVI where she lives in the winter. We were speaking about some events that have impacted both of us and many friends, trying to come to terms with our feelings. I had written an email to her earlier in the day.

"You write so well", she said, "you should do so more often".

I found myself saying "I used to write a blog..." I startled as I realized I had used the past tense.

"You should do so more often," she said.

Yes, I should, but I just haven't been able to sit down, clear my thoughts and write for so long. Funny how the longer one goes avoiding something, the more daunting it becomes. Even when I have drafted something in my head, I have been unable to get it down with pen and paper or keyboard and screen. Posts about books and movies and plays, about daffodils and bleeding hearts starting to poke through the leaves in the woods or pictures the old dead stump of a tree that is about to fall, about the small joys of family, or how I've struggled to recognize the good in a difficult employee and suddenly we are able to laugh even when we disagree; about how writing status updates in 160 characters is too confining to me and that I think Facebook for finding high school friends is stupid, but that it has been a wonderful tool for communicating with a specific circle of friends, even in times of crisis: all of these and more would have been great posts; perhaps some will appear in the future.

In the grand scheme of things, I'm not worried about not being able to write again --it is temporary -- but I wonder how much of this is a general malaise that I see in many of my friends right now. I don't know if it's being at mid-life, if it's the economy, if it's only because it is still winter, despite the recent warmer days, but it seems that everyone I am friends with is going through some sort of major life stress -- stress at work, fear of losing their jobs and the fear of not being able to find another one, sickness, death of elderly relatives, struggling relationships, pain from one kind of loss or another.

It is all very real, painful; psyches bobbing in rough wakes. Not quite gale force winds in open seas, but stormy. It can wear you down and make it seem like there isn't time, or strength, or determination to do things like write.

As I read through this, I can predict that some people might conclude that I'm depressed. Let me assure you that it isn't something as drastic as that. It isn't as if I can't laugh, can't enjoy family and friends, or am ready to jump off cliffs real or metaphoric. It is only that writing is the activity that is getting squeezed shut right now.

Thanks to those of you who periodically stop by here. I don't intend to let the past tense to describe permanently this blog. But I don't know if I'll be back here tomorrow, or next week, or in a few months.

Peace,
Cam

10 comments:

sassymonkey said...

I can't find it (drat it) but a few years ago there was group of bloggers who pledged to blog without apologies. They would blog when they blogged and they didn't explain why they didn't blog for periods of time. I think sometimes the biggest thing when you step away from your blog for awhile is that you feel you need to account for it. The same way that sometimes bloggers apologize for writing off topic.

You don't have to do it that way.

It's your blog. Use it when you want and however you want. If you are gone for a week or a month, so what? It's your blog. There are no rules. :)

Sheri said...

It's funny Sassy mentioned that because I actually blogged about that a while back, its called Blogging without obligation. here is the link to my post.
http://sherid.wordpress.com/2007/08/16/blogging-without-obligation/

if your interested...

But, I hear ya..I'm kind of in the same place, not depressed...but hanging on. I have blogged a few times in the lat week though so maybe its lifting. Good luck to you.

p.s. I'm addicted to Facebook, even the HS friends stuff. :O

Ted said...

I look forward to whenever that is.

bloglily said...

It's a difficult time in the world right now, no doubt about it. I love knowing you're in my facebook circle (we COULD have been in high school together, couldn't we have), and I like being in touch with your status updates, and I agree with sassy and sheri that blogging slowly (which I wrote about today, in fact) and without apology for your subjects is a perfectly fine way to blog. I hope spring arrives soon -- in your life as well as weather-wise. xoxo

Charlotte said...

It seems we are in the same place as far as blogging is concerned. I really like the idea of blogging without apology; it's like living without apology.

sassymonkey said...

Sheri - that's it!! lol I wrote about it a couple of years ago. It's nice to know that Blogging Without Obligation is still out there. :)

Cam said...

Thank you all for your encouragement. And yes, dear Lily, we could have been in high school together and I'm sure I would have thought you were awesome.

I'm composing a post in my head..something along the lines of "Kiss my fat ass, Laura Ingram". Maybe it will actually make it into published form.

Dorothy W. said...

I'm very glad you're not thinking of your blog in the past tense, even if you don't write for it very often! Yes, many, many people do seem to be going through difficult times, and it is very difficult. It's hard to know how to help other people and if it's even possible. I think this trend is about more than winter, but perhaps the coming of summer will help out a little bit ...

Anne said...

Hi Cam. I'm with Dorothy W.

A lovely post.

I had a winter like this last year: too awful and boring to write about.

Now I'm happy but BUSY, too busy to blog.

Still, I love your voice & hope always to hear it.

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