I have not written anything decent in a long time.
Aside from this blog (which I don’t update nearly as much as I say I’m going to or know I should) and the few scattered poems I’ve scribbled down on scraps of paper here and there recently, I haven’t actually sat down and given anything my all in quite some time. And I know I have no one to blame but myself. I could sit here and make a million and one excuses as to why I’m not putting writing at the top of my list of priorities; I work too much, I’m too tired when I get home, I just want to relax and do nothing and there isn’t much time for anything else, the list could go on, but none of them would be good enough to warrant neglecting the thing that is supposed to be the thing I want someone to pay me to do one day. Which leads me to think, if it isn’t important enough to carve time out of my day for, maybe it isn’t what I really want to do…
Oh my god, I take that back. I could never actually mean that. That was a terrible prank I just played on myself.
But for real, how do you motivate yourself to do the thing you love to do when you don’t feel like doing anything at all? I have been asking myself this question for years.
In my younger days (I swear, I’m an old person already who goes to bed by 10 p.m. every night, even on the weekends; I can only imagine what it will be like when I’m actually old, and probably going to bed by 7, which makes me sympathize with old people who do that because, shit, I never realized it before but that will probably be me. But that’s a story for another time so, moving on), I could get into patterns of writing, where I would work really hard on projects for weeks, sometimes months at a time, churning out semi-awesome work in a (somewhat) timely manner and feeling pretty damn good about myself. I look back on that writing, those works of genius, with pride and jealousy. I want to be that good again, but I’m not sure how.
Part of the problem (warning: I’m about to make an excuse) is that all of that fabulous creative writing I was doing was happening while I was in college, either working part-time or not working at all. Now, as someone who works roughly 50 hours a week (with children no less, who, despite how much I love them, can be quite taxing at times) my brain is fried and my body is ready for bed by the time I get home, and all I really want to do is lay on the couch and zone out for a few minutes before I have to do it all over again.
Maybe my problem isn’t lack of time, because there are 24 usable hours in every day (and I could probably spend less time at the beach on the weekends and get shit done), but I can’t seem to find the creativity and zest for writing I once had. Whenever I sit down and do actually try and write something, either mediocrity comes to the surface or nothing comes at all.
Okay, so writer’s block. That must be it.
I do feel okay blaming this all on a prolonged stint of writer’s block.
But then how do you overcome writer’s block? Shit, I’m back to square one.