When Good Writing Turns Bad

I’ve been wracking my brain for three days on what I was going to blog about this week. I’ve thought of, considered, and discarded so many options that I’m left with nothing. Seriously. There are crickets in my brain.

The writer’s block has gotten so bad that I resorted to Google this morning.

Even Little Miss Sunshine can’t make this search a happy one.

I think my preoccupation with Dizzy (Cat Number One) and his recent diagnosis of diabetes, combined with the usual cloud of weepy that follows me around after Mother’s Day/most national holidays/encountering a cute baby at Target/most Saturdays has led me to the Unfunny Place Where Blogs Suck.

So I decided to seek out some inspiration. (No, I didn’t actually follow the links provided by Google. Mostly.)

I turned to myself. I gathered up all my journals, read them, and chose the following excerpts to share with you. Prepare yourself for drama, hilarity, and teenage angst.

Written in October of 1998:

“I walk onto the beach today, the breeze tickling my cheeks, the sand warming my toes, and my mind takes a photograph of the beauty quickly filling my senses. A small child scribbles illegibly on the sand, creating art that will be wiped away with the tide. The water creeps slowly up the banks, destroying footprints in its path. The sun begins to set, casting an orange hue, and my heart searches out for you, my love. So far away from this, our little piece of heaven. I think of you as the moon creeps out to spotlight my loneliness.”

Written in April of 1999: (the day after my high school sweetheart and I ended our 3 year love affair. Oh BOY, the angst…)

“My heart breaks, shatters, like so much glass. The feelings of pain, misery, heartache, engulf my soul, swallowing it whole into the blackness. I can’t think of prom, now, for who would dress up and dance when filled with the depths of despair.”

Written in August of 1999: (my first night at college)

 “So here you have it, the untitled memoirs of a highly sophisticated, independent, socially accommodating college freshman. One day, I’ll look back at these egotistical words and toss my head back in laughter at my naivety “back in those days.” So far, today has been very eventful. For now, it vaguely feels somewhat like being at summer camp, though with a more significant underlying purpose greater than winning the blue ribbon in the swim relay. There’s a feeling of desired success intermingled with a fear of failure in the air here at Appalachian State University. As I journey into the realm of adulthood, I take 2 things with me only: 1) Everything Mary Ginny Dubose ever taught me in English class at WHS, from William Shakespeare to her favorite words of wisdom: “To thine own self be true,” and 2) common sense. Hopefully, with these 2 things, along with skills acquired along the way, I’ll be able to make this a successful year for myself and my family.”

Ok, that one made me laugh out loud. Moving on.

Written for a poetry class in the Spring of 2001….an apt poem for how I’m feeling today:

Brain Freeze
A sneaker
Fused to the ooey, gooey remembrance
Of grape grey-colored bubblegum –
Forgotten on the steamy pavement.
A mouse
Cornered by Fritz-The-Watch-Cat with
No exit – the hunk of cheese just
Close enough to taint the air with its scent.
A fly
Caught in the trap of man-made
Fly suicide – struggling to rip his hairy feet
From the clutches of the sticky prison.
My pen
Wavering quietly over a sea of blank paper –
My creativity refusing to spurt forth in
Its usual richness – an empty mind and still hand.
Writer’s Block Sucks.

Wow. Bad poetry abounds with the next excerpt I’ll share with you. Here’s a poem I found, written just after going on the first date with my husband.

Written June of 2001:

Untitled
Touch me.
Caress my cheek with your fingertips.
Touch me.
With your heart on wings, fly to me.
Touch me.
Let me feel cherished for a moment in time.
Touch me
Even with just the sound of your voice.
Touch me
And fill my soul with the promise of you.

Don’t worry, that sound you hear is just my husband retching. Finally, a page from a journal written much more recently, and the lesson I think I was supposed to find in today’s blogging process.

Written in August of 2010:

“I used to keep journals diligently. It didn’t feel right if I didn’t jot something down on paper – whether it was a poem or song lyrics or simply a peek into my day. There was ALWAYS something worth recording, something I felt was important enough to write down. In high school, my works were filled with cliches and SAT words. In college, they were overly-dramatic, overly-romanticized, overly-worded. Now I strive to just collect my thoughts in one place – a place I can come back to and remember my life. This journal is an attempt to reclaim the diligence, the passion I held in my young woman’s heart, to write again. (Hopefully, it will have more than 3 entries.)

It does.

Note to self: What I write about on this blog, on a day-to-day basis, doesn’t have to be anything specific. It doesn’t always have to be funny, or witty, or well-illustrated. It just has to be what’s in my heart on that day. Some people may read it, others may ignore it. Some may comment, others may not. The important thing is to JUST KEEP WRITING. And to keep learning, everyday, what it means to be a writer.

Thank you, powers that be. Lesson received.