Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Writer's Block: a Lament

I've never been the most prolific writer, and even during my most creative periods I still mostly just write narcissistic verbal diarrhea (as evidenced by this blog!). Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I don't feel like I will ever achieve my big goals as a writer. I'd love to write the next Great American Novel because wouldn't we all? But I fear the best I may be able to do is a set of fairly uninteresting essays about being depressed and sexy that I could call "memoirs." And I'm never even going to get there unless I can establish a process for daily or, at least, frequent writing.

Recently I have been attempting to rectify my creativity drought by seeking books about writing rather than actually doing any writing, like you do. Everyone always recommends this book called The Artist's Way to me, and I apologize in advance if this book totally changed your life but I have to say it's crap. I mean, if it worked for you that's wonderful. It doesn't work for me because the spiritual nonsense in it is distracting and especially because she is so adamant that one must do their stream-of-consciousness writing first thing in the morning. Because the same creative process that works for one person should work for everyone, right? Especially rebellious spirits who hate mornings?

I am so sick of morning people. Or really just the concept, not always the people themselves (but it depends, more on that in a moment). I have had to rearrange my entire life around the fact that people believe that morning is a superior time of day, and that everyone should be able to adjust their schedules to be most productive during that time of day. I can only guess that this has it's roots in puritanism and agriculture. My mother (who was raised on a farm) was certainly an adherent to the concept that lack of ability to get out of bed in the morning = laziness. I love my mom and I'm fine with her schedule (she wakes up at 4am), but let's just say I have a gigantic chip on my shoulder about this bullshit.

Out of all the reasons I went into sex work, including that old love of sex that I have, my lack of ability to wake up and have a functional brain before noon was up at the top. You see, it is totally possible (though extremely difficult) for me to get up in the morning. This morning I woke up at 10am, but didn't get out of bed until 11. When I used to do vanilla work I woke up at 7 or sometimes even 6 to get to work on time, but would be mostly useless until noon. Or at least I felt useless. My brain is foggy in the morning, my bones tired. The fact that I suffer from insomnia doesn't help, but even if I go to bed at a normal hour and actually do fall asleep I still struggle to be active until well into the afternoon. I have never been able to go to the gym first thing in the morning, and everything I write is garbage. Every mistake I have ever made at work has occurred before noon.

I can't remember what Julia Cameron- the author of The Artist's Way- says about writing first thing in the morning. It has something to do with your mind being more connected to your subconscious then, I believe. Or more open to letting creativity in. I mean, I guess that makes sense... but if your mind is a raisin first thing in the morning, how useful is it that it's connected to the subconscious then? It's not really useful for me. I often feel as though my brain is both more functional and more connected to creativity after midnight. I have heard so many artists say that's true for them, and they're usually the sort of tortured artist I can get down with. It would seem that my art is often about honesty over craft, and quality over quantity. Not that this blog post is any indication of either. And I'm even writing this at 4:30 in the afternoon!

As I struggle to tap back in to my creative flow, I know one thing for certain: every artist is different. Actually, I know 2 things for certain: every artist is different, and a book that states that there is only one way to find your creativity is not useful in my own process. In fact, books overall are not useful. Actually writing, like I am right now, is what is best. Even when it's complete and utter self-reflective poop. So help me out and give me some prompts if you like. And know that some day I will find myself again and will have new posts of equal or lesser quality to this one back up here weekly to daily.