Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Writers block, already?

"I love deadlines.  I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." -- Douglas Adams

Of course, what Douglas Adams wrote was much more widely enjoyed and read than what I've been posting here.  And I've always loved that quote.  But deadlines to me are always a pain in the tushie.  No matter how hard I try to plan and even though I finish whatever it is well before the drop-deadline, I hate feeling rushed and that urgent dread that comes with having something undone.  Here I am, my first week into my blog, and I've already started having writer's block.

In all honesty, it's not actually writer's block.  It's brain overload.  It's everything that my head is discussing or contemplating without my permission (and sometimes without my knowledge) trying to escape onto the page.  Each idea feels it would be better suited to be published immediately and that it would be the one thing that would set this blog on fire.

Fortunately, I have plenty of extinguishers in the house.

Today when I went to visit my therapist ("visit" is a misnomer -- "entertain" is more like it), she asked how my blog was doing and how many comments I'd received.  I told her that I hadn't had any yet and she was quite shocked.

"But you're a great writer!" she said.

"I know," I not-so-humbly agreed.  "I figure either (a) I just don't have enough readers yet or (b) they're busy still trying to figure out what I said in the last few posts.  They probably need a translation of how my mind works."

I began to explain that comment by relating it to when comedian Dennis Miller was a color commentator on ABC's Monday Night Football.  Most people hated it.  He would bring up obscure references and make jokes that the average beer-swilling football viewer wouldn't and couldn't understand.  And trust me, I've swilled my share of beer watching football in the past, but at least I got the jokes.  Miller would say something easily relatable like, "He lasted about as long as the dessert tray at Rosie O'Donnell's house."  Or, the ones I enjoyed the most, such as, "That punt was higher than Marion Berry on a fact-finding tour of Cartagena."  (And, yes, both of those made it on-air.)  There was even a website created that would explain what all of his quips and quotes meant for those who didn't get them so that Tuesday mornings they could translate what was said the night before.  And, like Mr. Miller, I have a tendency to occasionally get of onto a rant about one subject or another or say something that, sadly, a majority of people wouldn't understand and explaining it would just take the fun out of the joke.

Fortunately for me, this is my blog and I don't have to worry about corporate executives who don't get the jokes coming in and replacing me with someone incredibly boring, thereby losing me the franchise in the long run.

"Can you create characters?" was another question she asked me.

"Sure, but why would I want to?" I asked.  "My life is weird enough on its own.  I'm not blogging fiction and you can't make up most of the crap I've been through.  It's much easier to write what I know and experience."

My therapist has often told me I should be a stand-up comic.  So have many family members.  They hear me talking and end up laughing themselves silly and usually at one point or another someone will say, "You need to write a book!  That stuff is SO funny!"  What they don't understand is that stand-up comedy is hard.  And it takes timing, gestures, voice inflection -- all of those qualities that can't be expressed in a book.  Or a blog.

So, here I sit watching the time click away wondering what in the world I'll write about for today's post.  I made myself promise the rest of myself that I would post something every day in 2012 unless I was so sick I couldn't operate the computer or I was diagnosed as dead.  Otherwise, I have to stick with it.  ADD or not, the shiny things have to remain unplayed with until I write something.

And even though I technically have three hours until the "day" is over and fail at my attempt to be consistent with something, that dim light of the deadline approaching down the tunnel is really starting to freak me out.  I feel like I did in college -- just get something, anything, on the page and turn it in.  Maybe I'll at least get a few points for the effort.  And the fact that I could remember to write my name on it.

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