As you may have noticed, I have been blogging again. I could probably come up with a list of reasons for this, which would make this activity sound noble. Truth is, I am just doing this to avoid writing.
I have a new job. Someone is paying me to write. I like the someone and I like the pay. So why am I procrastimusing about writing instead of writing? Google that. Apparently a lot of writers do this. Houses get cleaned, drawers get organized and sidewalks get swept; all because commissions are paid to writers. That would probably be a more effective way to keep our streets clean and fill our potholes than taking our tax dollars for these things to be addressed. Eventually there would be books too.
So while I am waiting to get around to it, I want to talk about it. It is a ghost writing gig so I am not really allowed to talk about IT, but I can talk about doing IT (or not doing IT, as the case may be). I find I don't want to do IT. But why not?
It is NOT because I am not putting my name on IT that I am unmotivated. There are lots of things out there which I have written (particularly in facebook world), that go on ahead without me. I keep writing them anyway.
I think that because I am a writer with lots of embryonic stage productions (shows in the embryonic stage of development, not shows about embryos); I always feel a little disloyal to those projects. But the nature of those projects is such that I won't be paid, if at all, until they are done and out. This money is now. I am continually writing what I want to write and I would prefer to write what I want to write. But I want the kind of compensation I can spend on groceries and houses. So I have to wait. And I am OK with that for now.
I think this writer's block stems from a conflict with the material. Because I am not a plumber, I get personally attached to the concepts in the words I write, even if no one knows they are mine. I am fairly certain that plumbers don't agonize over the wall paper in the kitchen of the house they are plumbing - at least not the straight ones. (OK, sorry that was a cheap shot. No offense, please!) I suspect that if something offensive is on the wall of the house, or in the people of the house being plumbed, the plumber just does the crap he came to do and stays out of the other business. That is their crap to work out.
But as I write the words from someone else's head, I find myself grappling with the moral implications of the message. I love to write because I love to/need to know the TRUTH. Once I see a clue to that bottomless topic, I jot it down and move on to the next clue. Writing is a way to create more space in my brain for new clues. I never intentionally lie to myself or others. That is just not my weakness. So, when I am writing words for someone else that are not yet (and may never be) true for me, how do I reconcile that?
It feels like homework. I spent years in school writing lies upon lies without any conflict. I know that "Johnny did not have 5 apples and give Sue 3 of them" and how many remained was irrelevant because there never was a real Johnny or Susie apple exchange. I know that Skip and I did not go to the store ("Or rather Skip and ME which I had to change to "I"). Yet I wrote it. I wrote it and turned it in and got a grade and took that A report card to McDonald's and got a free cheeseburger. Is this really any different?
I have a writer friend who recently found a treasure trove of smutty old novels (one man's trash...) which were written by famous authors in the start of their career. I hate to confess to having a libido, but I could sooner write and stand behind (or stand in front of, on my head for, swing from the chandelier with; as the case may be) one of those novels; because I GET that, think those things, could imagine those scenarios with me as the lead character. (No, that is not happening or being shared anytime soon folks, in art or life, so settle down).
There could be one more explanation as to why I am not writing this book I have been hired to write. It is a 4 letter word -"work". According to my late mother in law, I am allergic to it. Never mind how it felt to hear that or what 4 letter words might have come to mind if I had heard them at an older age with better self esteem; that lingering indictment hangs over my head at times like this ready to damn me if I do or damn me if I don't. On the one hand if I write this book about something I don't believe, I am selling out (for about $35 an hour if you are interested in knowing how much it would take). On the other hand, if I don't take advantage of this great job, which I can do in my jammas in my BED, while the kids are asleep; then I am a FOOL! (I suspect that the other sell out job matching that job description would not yield me $35 an hour at this age and stage in my life unless I did it over the phone). With the right hand not liking what the left hand is doing, and vice-versa, I find that I just want to sit on my hands and do nothing. It is hard to write when your hands are tied. So I blogged instead.