It’s been a long time since I posted anything. Hell, it’s been a long time since I wrote anything more than a few scribbles. Granted, I did a bit of artwork here and there, worked on some film projects, and scribbled a few lines of poetry. But no writing of any real substance has flowed in at least…what, a year?
I constantly blame work for this. I work at night, and my job is physically demanding. So when I get home in the morning after work, I usually head straight to bed, scroll on social media for a few minutes, and then pass out – more often than not, smacking myself in the face with my phone a few times before placing it safely on the bedside table.
But work really has nothing to do with it. I am a storyteller. I love to create a story that takes you on a ride and then slams on the breaks, and you, not knowing that you should have buckled up, go flying through the windshield as you read the last few paragraphs.
That’s my favorite kind of storytelling.
This last year I’ve been inundated with all sorts of other events that have distracted, berated, and ultimately muted my storytelling zest. I simply did not want to write.
I was taught by a rather brilliant English professor that quality over quantity is the best writing…that if you write poetry, you have to value each word at a dollar apiece, and to be frugal with those dollars.
I used to be friends with this guy who writes these ego maniacal essays on a daily basis. I suppose they were meant to be funny, or informative, but they came off as being wordy self-serving rants about the same topic: himself. I guess if I wanted to write things like that I would have kept up with my livejournal diary. Even then, only talking about myself would bore me pretty quickly. I’d rather write a story and share it with the world and see if others are as shaken up by reading it as I was by writing it.
Instinctively, when I don’t feel the urge to write, I don’t force it. It’s taken me years to finally accept and to do this. And, though I was alarmed not to have written much of anything this past year, I feel better knowing I didn’t throw countless hours in the trash by tapping out a bunch of nonsensical bullshit that no one (including myself) would want to read.
Sometimes it’s best to just shut the fuck up.
I learned this by discovering the more I wrote while uninspired, the more my writing fell flat. I never want my poetry or my stories to be one dimensional cardboard cutout representations of what I can really do when inspired.
So, as difficult as it is for someone with the gift of gab, I learned how to shut the fuck up.
It’s like Roadhouse and the “be nice” theme. Be nice until its time to stop being nice. Write when it’s time to write.