Smashing Writer’s Block

I always advised others to get over writer’s block by writing about it. This morning seems to demand that I take some of my own advice. Fair warning then that this post may appear incoherent and nonsensical, but only to you. To me, it will probably be a perfect reflection of the madness that stirs within. We all have such madness, but I think the surrounding of friends or family, or just familiar recognition of who we appear to be subdues the madness because when we feel recognised, we have less reason to demand recognition of what stirs beneath the surface. Most of us hide it, some over-emphasise it, and some of us, the odd few, try to leverage it to feed our passion without appearing totally insane.

I’m not quite sure which category I fit into this morning. Writing this novel that is inspired by true events from my life makes for some interesting introspection. Regrets threaten to surface as I find myself looking with fresh eyes at incidents from many years ago that I always assumed to have played out differently. Catharsis has nothing to do with it, nor does an indulgence of the ego. It’s the stark realisations or a gentleness of judgement that is possible now but felt unreasonable or unjustified then. Trying to understand the most disruptive influences in my life often leads to realising that they were also the most constructive. Not because they meant to be, but because of what about me was forced to grow because of who they were .

We leave things behind because we find them unpleasant, not because we find them endearing or cherish-able. The same is true for relationships. Perhaps this is why it is more difficult to recall the good times when you focused on the bad times for so long. Idealism can taint judgement and spawn good intentions that are disastrous at times. Good intentions don’t always result in wholesome outcomes. Sometimes it causes more destruction than any bad intention ever could.

Speaking of idealism, I am reminded about my own quote recently that claimed that there are no bad intentions, only poorly informed decisions. This is more true and real for me this morning than it was when I wrote that a few weeks ago. Even when we go about deliberately wanting to cause harm or pain, the motivation to do so is grounded in a need to avenge a wrong, or to teach a lesson, both of which are inherently good intentions. Understanding and compassion will probably improve the method we use when setting out to teach someone a lesson, but understanding and compassion are seldom traits that we court during moments of despair or disappointment. Reclaiming our significance is all that seems to matter, which is why regrets only follow after destroying the significance that we fought so hard to claim.

Being an anomaly of society has its romantic connotations but only until the moment that human connection is needed, or desired. It’s impossible to connect with normal when you’re an anomaly. Normal appears boring and shallow, or distracted at best, and being anomalous feels dysfunctional in a society that is normalised by tradition, culture, or social standing. Each time I thought I found a place for myself in this world, I discovered that I was simply a placeholder for someone else instead. I hate tokens and trinkets because they rarely have any inherent value other than the sentiment that we endow on them. Being anomalous feels like that on most days.

Self-pity is pitiful, and it also assumes that there is something worthy of pity. Therefore, true self-pity can’t exist, and any appearance of self-pity must therefore be a desperation for attention or affection, or both, rather than any sense of remorse or regret. No one truly believes that they are pitiful, or useless. Any professions of the same is nothing more than a desire to find someone to disagree with them.

Writer’s block is for writers. But we’re all writers of our own story, with some of us having the requisite level of narcissism to believe that our story is worth sharing. Narcissism itself is not a bad thing. We all have it in us. It starts out with believing that we’re worthy, and gets out of hand when we believe that we’re more worthy than others. Believing in your worth is a healthy form of narcissism, because anything less would be self-deprecation which is a sign of ingratitude. Therefore, it suggests that a narcissist is potentially more grateful than one who appears humble. Now there’s something to ponder on cold nights and warm hearths.

My reasons for writing and sharing what I write sways between wanting to contribute towards improving the world we live in, and wanting to point out the obvious to the oblivious so that I can see the a-ha moments on their faces as I feel significant in knowing that I caused it. The truth is probably somewhere between those two ideals. I’d rather continue rambling than facing that novel again right now. It feels like much ado about nothing, personified.

Similar to the first book that I wrote. Great feedback from those that found the tenacity to read it to the end, but dismissive remarks of its complexity from those that lack the conviction to look closer, at themselves more than at me. Perhaps the greatest lesson that I’ve learnt from my journey towards becoming a writer in my own right is that unless you come from a family with a strong tradition in a similar field, you will be the odd one out that no one else gets. Chances are therefore also good that writers are most often middle-children or an only child because those with familiar or kindred spirits have less reason to articulate their soul’s desires or aspirations in their search for peace.

The madness must abate. Alas, I have deadlines and bills to pay. The cynic in me must rest so that the demands of a practically boring and slavish existence can prevail in order to maintain the semblance of sanity that society pretends to hold.

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