Not too long ago writing came pretty easily to me. My head was bursting with ideas, I was prolific, and often there seemed to be a direct link between brain and keyboard; all I had to do was sit down and type. I remember my late friend Joel Lane saying to me that he sometimes felt I was simply transcribing the tales that sat fully formed in my mind.
These days it isn't as easy. Something happened, the connection frayed. Now writing is dificult; I struggle to get the words onto the page. I have two deadlines this month: an essay about a Nigel Kneale scripted film and a short story for a chapbook. I'm scared that both of these projects will turn out to be shit, or that I'll simply fail to finish them. I never used to worry too much about the latter, just followed the muse and believed that every piece of writing would be finished in time. But now that fear is a barrier between me and the completion of a project. One I must either navigate around, climb over, or kick the fuck down.
I'm still too afraid to resume working on the novel. It sits there mocking me, laughing at my procrastination. Maybe getting those other two projects finished will give me the energy to wipe the smug smile off its face. Perhaps writing this blog is in itself an act of defiance and will bolster my armoury for the battle. I hope so. The little bastard is starting to annoy me.
I emphasise! I was never arrogant about my writing being good enough, but was always sure that it was going to be there. Feels like a constantly fearful endeavour these days!
I remember someone suggesting to you once that maybe karate had replaced writing as the thing that purges all your angst. You're a very "bleed on the page" writer, so it's possible that you've just got a different outlet for your feelings now, and the stories don't come as easily because the engine that drives them is powering karate instead. I remember my own muse deserting me for a long time when I was no longer unhappy. It isn't *only* bad stuff that pushes us to write, but some people are inspired by the darkness more than others.
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