Shrugging Off the Nudge

There’s the problem of writer’s block, where the spirit is willing but nothing seems to rise out of the creative void. I’ve rarely had writer’s block in the sense of not being able to write something. Words have poured out of me since I was twelve, when I first started keeping a journal and made myself write pages per day. Most of it was bland stuff-of-the-day in an adolescent’s life, but I discovered how easy it was to make the words flow when you were writing just for the sake of writing.

There’s the problem of not feeling inspired to write, where you can’t think of something to write about. That’s where writing prompts and nudges help, as long as you’re willing to go with the flow, so to speak, and accept that you may or may not wind up with something you want to share with the world. It’s exercise to keep the muscles supple and strong.

Then there’s the problem of willingly not writing. You not only don’t want to write—you steadfastly refuse to write. There’s no guilt, no sorrow, no frustration. You stick out your tongue at the blank page or screen and go about your life, heartlessly indifferent to your lack of output.

That’s the problem I’ve had for the past several months.

I simply haven’t wanted to write. Rather, I haven’t wanted to blog or write poetry, or even return to the old pen-and-paper journaling I did all those decades. It was kind of like I was avoiding my own literary company. Granted, I did write things like Etsy and eBay listings and a few freelance things. Otherwise, I’ve been sullenly satisfied with my own reticence.

I thought maybe I’d perk up when National Poetry Month rolled around, and for awhile I envisioned regular postings of nudges. I certainly wasn’t up to blog posting every day. I almost felt guilty about not trying to write a poem. But it was as if the various pieces of National Poetry Month (poems, prompts, and the rest of it) were interesting bits I spotted floating by me as I loitered on the riverbank. I didn’t have the interest or energy to snag an item for closer examination. I simply gazed as it bobbed out of sight.

Obviously you can’t nudge anyone else to write when you’re in such a state yourself. Maybe that’s a big part of the problem: I don’t feel like instructing anyone else about their writing when I’m so conflicted about my own.

In late April I turned 59. That means I’ve entered into my 60th year on the planet. I thought about that, about the memories all those 60 years hold, and how little I’ve blogged about my past life. I realized I’d like to do that, blog about things long past and as I do, review the various aspects of my life thus far.

I may sometimes include a writing nudge at the end of a piece, but that isn’t going to be my focus any longer, at least not for the next year or so. I’m currently being nudged to write about my own life, and I expect it to be pretty random. I expect to be nudged by holidays and seasons, but also by music and snapshots and a certain feel in the air early in the morning or late at night.

I can’t promise it’s going to be that interesting to anyone but me; then again, I’ve come to realize I’ve had a pretty interesting life at times. And if you’re of a certain age (read: Baby Boomer) you might identify with some of the reminiscences. Or you may wonder if I was living on the same planet as you.

Anyhow, for what it’s worth, that’s where I’m going with the blog for now. Stay tuned.


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