Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Too Much or Too Little?

Do I have too much to say or too little to say? That’s the question I wrestle with as I face this blank page and wonder what to say this Wednesday to the readers.

On the one hand, I could howl with rage on the state of any number of things in the world. On the other hand, I could praise new books coming out, and delight in my latest reading ramblings. Do I discuss someone else’s work or suggest a tip that helps a writer’s own? Quote a passage from a diary, on this, the birthday of Virginia Woolf and the famous Burns Night, or simply remain silent?

The more I stare at the page, the blanker, the whiter, it seems.

Hundreds of ideas are battling for supremacy in my head. Yet, I stare at the page and feel lethargic. Uninspired. Completely verbally dumb, in all senses of the word.

Several of the local newspapers and television shows pushed out a flurry of articles over the past few days, citing “scientific evidence” that January 23 is the most depressing day of the year. Am I part of a Universal Malaise?

I try to make the words march across the page, but they take alternate routes. I try to sit and read, but my mind wanders back to what I’m supposed to be writing. I’m simultaneously restless and lethargic. I don’t even want a day off from writing – it’s almost a sense of . . .anticipation.

Perhaps something brews under all this conflict. Perhaps the inner volcano of inspiration prepares to spew some literary lava.

Remember how this feels, I tell myself. Remember the physical sensations, the over-caffeinated jitteriness, the inability to focus, the desire to pace and nap simultaneously. Someday, it will be useful. Someday, it will be a way to orientate a reader into a character’s landscape.

Today, however, living it, is merely uncomfortable.


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