You know what sucks? Having a modicum of talent in a specific area, yet not being able to fully utilize that talent. Like a football player with good hands, quick feet and an innate sense of “the moment” who doesn’t have the option of playing football. Or a singer with no microphone.
Or a writer with no idea what to write.
I’m sitting here, staring at my keyboard, and I can’t think of a single thing to write. I’m drowning in words, up to my ears in catchy turns-0f-phrase, simply overloaded with metaphorical creative power (and by that I mean I literally have the power to create metaphors), and I can’t think of a single topic to write about. Not one.
Zippo (who was a Marx brother, I think).
I get away from the keyboard and I can think of ten thousand things to write about, ten million angles to write from, ten billion other ideas that make me really believe that my calling in life is to write things that make people go “Ah-ha!”
But when I sit down, when I really get ready to “git-r-dun!” I go blank as a freshly hung white-board.
And I think the reason I go blank is because I write with my audience in mind. Who that audience is, I can’t tell you, but I have some sense that they’re out there, waiting for me to produce something worthwhile, and the pressure just adds to the mental muddiness. And perhaps most damaging of all I wonder – “will people want to read this?”
That’s a dangerous question to be asking. Because I don’t know who will or will not want to read anything. I don’t know how certain people in this day and cyber-age get thirty-thousand readers on their blog about flowers, or how some dude starts a Twitter feed called, “S#!& my dad says” and turns it into a CBS sit-com. Even when I read the latest Internet sensation’s blog or helpful e-book, I’m still brought back to the same thought: “Keep your audience in mind.”
But when I keep them in mind, I end up finishing nothing because I’m not sure that what interests me will interest anyone else. I’m not writing because I feel like I have something to say; I’m writing because I feel like I have to say something.
That’s writing for the wrong reason. I know this, and I think that’s why I shut down. I’m trying to think the collective thoughts of others instead of listening to my own voice. I’m trying to produce for an artificial deadline and an artificial audience.
Well, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of all of it. Like I said yesterday, I think I’m going to keep my mouth (and keyboard) relatively quiet until I have something I really want to say. Need to say. Until then, I’m going to concentrate on reading and other stuff, and see if I can get my own voice back, write for my own satisfaction.