I have been having trouble writing much of anything lately. Actually, this post will be the first time I’ve written anything more complex than a grocery list in a very long time. These, ahh, intervals happen and I should be used to them, but I get a little shook every time I find myself in the middle of one. What seems to cue them is when I have what I think is a finished manuscript and I send it out, which is like sending your kid out to the first day of first grade, and this time they send the kid back, usually with a note. ‘Nice try,’ they say. ‘But this one’s too ugly.’
So I won’t say I’ve been blocked, but I have been stalled.
Anyway, last week I had to go back to New Jersey to see some people I didn’t really want to see, but while I was up there I did get to meet up with my old friend Joe D, who is a gifted composer, pianist, singer and an all around very sharp dude. He and I have had the same conversation many times: why do we keep doing what we do, in my case writing and in his case making music, in the face of the long odds against anything much coming out of it? Every nimbus with a garage band is uploading his stuff, how in the world do you make yourself stand out from the crowd?
‘By not caring,’ Joe says, ‘whether you stand out or not. By doing what you do.’
Yeah. So my takeaway from that is that I need to get back to work. You know what, I probably knew that, but I needed to hear it from someone else.