When the words won’t flow

In which I write about not being able to write.

Since embarking on a new career path I’ve been met with a copious amount of writing time.

At this moment, I’m sitting in a first aid shack somewhere in the backwoods of Northeastern BC, with all the hours of the day to come up with brilliant, wonderful, insightful and thought-provoking words.

You’d think they’d be pouring out. You’d be wrong.

See, I’ve been working on my short story writing in recent months. I’ve got several outlines for some weird-ass pieces and at least two that have first drafts. But trying to get anything else written has been a lesson in futility.

That’s part of the reason I started this blog. I wanted to be able to write a little each day so I didn’t fall off the wagon, as it were. When you go from writing thousands of words a day to maybe a few tweets if you’re lucky, it fucks you up. Ditto for going from using my camera every day to not using it for three months, but that’s a post for another day.

Even finding the words for a weekly rant like I used to do has been difficult. I think it’s mostly because the parameters have been lifted and I could literally write about what ever the hell I want that I can’t find the words beyond 280 characters. I’ve always wanted that freedom and now that I have it I’m at a loss as to what to do with it. Is that irony or just sad?

I’ve been crocheting like my life depended on it, blatantly ignoring the cramping in my hands. Clearly I’ve traded one creative outlet for another.

Screen shot 2018-02-13 at 8.51.19 AM

I had a busy day yesterday.

However, words are my first love; they’ve helped keep my sanity reasonably in check for as long as I can remember. I can’t just not write, even though it’s felt like it recently.

Writers should be avid readers, and I’ve burned through so many books lately just because I have the time to sit down and read the shit out of them.

I’ve got a few short story collections with me at the moment—Neil Gaiman and Stephen King—to try and help with my own short story crafting. I’ve been a creative non-fiction writer for the last decade, so trying to write actual fiction has been daunting. I hate writing dialogue since it always sounds so stunted and fake when I do it, but reading the dialogue written by others always sounds natural.

I’m also terrified at the idea of someone reading these stories. Like I said, it’s not my usual style, so I’m worried I’m total garbage at it and should just stick to my opinion rants. But if I don’t try, I’ll never know if I can do it.

So yeah, that’s my spiel about not being able to write. All 500-some odd words of it.

Guess I can write when I want to.

-A.

Cant-stop-writing

Except when when there’s a ton of time to do so.

 

Let’s talk

Once again it’s the one day of the year that people post messages about the importance of mental health. It’s Bell Let’s Talk Day.

I take part in this mostly because I want to see as much money as possible go to mental health initiatives in Canada. But I also take part because I have mental illnesses.

I have long suffered from depression and generalized anxiety disorder. It took me many years to admit it to myself since I’d always viewed it as a weakness… going on meds was something “other” people did. I wasn’t like them, I was stronger than that.

But I wasn’t.

When the bad thoughts are running through your mind and people around you don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, it wears you down. It’s like being trapped in a maze and you can’t find your way out… you’re just going in circles and finding the same dead ends.

Thankfully, I found my way out. It didn’t happen overnight, and there were a few stumbles along the way, but it did happen.

My experience isn’t everyone else’s, some may have a harder time getting through, while others find the path with little trouble. Never think your own experience isn’t valid because others seem to be having a harder time.

If you need to take medication, take it. It you need a personal day, take it. If you need a walk, take it. Whatever keeps you going, do it.

Don’t be afraid to talk.

-A.