Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mental Spam

This morning, as I was waking up, I was in that sort of half asleep / half awake place and I had a surge of writing energy, which, obviously I couldn’t do anything about because I had to go to work. Also, in the shower this morning I had about a half dozen ideas for blog posts that escaped me by the time I was done drying off. That REALLY perturbs me, how ideas can just leave me like that. How does it happen? The same way that we all have those moments when we say “Oh, crap…. I totally forgot what I was about to say!” It’s because my head is filled with nonsense. You know… every day bullshit that takes up hard drive space? I hate it. I think that as kids, that’s why we have so much pure and fiery creativity and imagination. Our brains aren’t full of spam yet. Now, in adulthood, my head is full of account numbers and driving directions and to-do lists and names of people who aren’t even a part of my life and news stories and all of that horseshit, and there’s really no way of clicking on “delete cookies” … which… by the way… I’d also like to be able to do to my fat ass.

I mean really, is it necessary for me to know that Lindsey Lohan pleaded no contest to stealing a gold necklace? Is it necessary for me to know the names and ranks of the Royal Family or what they wore to William and Kate’s wedding? Is it really going to benefit my life to know that crap? But I know these things. I can’t get away from that sort of useless information, and it’s taking up space in my cranium that I want for other things. I’d much rather be able to remember the recipe for Toll House Cookies or any ONE of those six ideas I had this morning in the shower than to know any of that other garbage that has no bearing on my life or my goals or my family or my health or my happiness.

It’s frustrating as hell that my head is full of this mental junk mail, construction debris and plastic. There’s basically a landfill in my noggin full of shit I’d really like to throw out. When your computer gets slow you delete files to make room. When your house gets too full you have a yard sale. When your closet gets overstuffed you give things to the Good Will. What do you do when your brain is too full? Can I see a hypnotist and ask him to “delete cookies?” Can he make me dump all the useless information that’s causing me to have a system crash whenever I come up with a great idea for writing and then 20 seconds later it’s just… GONE… like I accidentally hit the delete key and there’s not a damn thing I can do to get the file back?

At one time I thought… meditation! That’s it! I’ll clear my head… I’ll make all of that every-day baloney that makes life in the 21st century stressful and makes it impossible to pull up the files I actually want to use line up and march single file into a little prison cell in my head and I’ll lock the door… meanwhile the creative thought process and all of my wonderful ideas and my happy, intelligent, imaginative thoughts will come out and play and when I return to an upright and locked position it will just flow out and I’ll write like wild fire!!! Unfortunately, as fab as it was in theory… it didn’t work. There was this giant bouncer standing there with his arms folded, looking at me like “All right, lady, you’ve got exactly one weekend to accomplish this, and then it’s back to reality.” I have never been good with deadlines.

Thankfully, my frustration and anger at this situation prompted me to vent to a friend via email. There’s something about writing an email to a trusted friend. It brings out an unedited flood. I guess it’s the fact that he is there to be my friend and listen and understand when I’m being a raving lunatic, so my email is just a stream of ferocious aggravation that, when complete, makes me step back and figure out what’s really bothering me or at least purges some of my mental garbage. That’s how writing is for me. I’ve described it before as a bucket you’d put under a leaky roof. The roof drips, and the bucket fills. Every so often you have to dump the water or you’ll have a flood. That’s why I write. I fill up with words, thoughts, ideas, theories… eventually I have to empty the bucket.

Writers block is horrible for me. It’s like a drought, I guess. When crops don’t get water, things start to shrivel and die. The roof doesn’t leak. I have no ability to function when no words are slowly filling the bucket. However… a tsunami is pretty friggin’ frustrating, as well. I can’t write fast enough, I lose half the ideas, I sure as hell don’t have enough hours in the day to devote to it even if I manage to notate all of them for later use… and that brings about a whole other aspect of 21st century life that infuriates me…. But that’s a post for another day.

For the moment, I’d like to thank my best friend in the entire world, Jay, for helping me out by being there for me and always being the giant wrecking ball that obliterates that insurmountable wall. Writer’s block literally feels like a wall has been built between me and my creative process. So many brilliant writers have given the advice that you should write every single day, even if you think you have nothing to write about. Entire books have been devoted to ideas of things to write about when this happens. Today, I had to write about writer’s block. It’s amazing to me how much I actually had to say, most of which I spared you from, and how the subject itself actually poured out like that proverbial bucket being dumped. Maybe now I can get on with things.

So, you ask, why bother posting this? I mean, really, what’s the point of making it public? I guess it’s this: Sometimes you have to vent. And by you I mean YOU. Maybe you don’t purge your issues through writing, but whatever it is that seems to be blocking your path in life… kick the hell out of it, whatever it takes. Ready for my cliché of the day? Here it is: We all have our crosses to bear. The thing is that each one is different but no matter what the cross you’re carrying around is, it’s just has heavy and cumbersome to you as this is to me. So get rid of it. Holding it doesn’t help. Leaving stuff that isn’t working alone doesn’t help. Continuing down a path that you know is leading to nowhere doesn’t help… and worse… continuing down a path that you know is leading to  your own annihilation is just… NOT GOOD. So don’t do it. Rise up and fight!!!

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