You know those days when the words just won’t surface and you feel blank inside? Those are the days that make me stress and pace and tie my thoughts into a tangle of barbed wire. Those are the days when I call myself a failure and question my choice to be a writer. How can I write if I am empty? If I have nothing to give? If I can’t even form a coherent sentence? I suppose I am hoping that this brief post will kick me back into action
I am having some health issues – not serious, just annoying – and they have been keeping me away from writing; don’t worry, I am not going to enter into a litany about a bunch of boring health problems that come with middle age. Although, I will say that if you are reading this and you are under 40, take care of your bodies; you will be so grateful you did. I wish my brain could just keep on grooving, no matter what protests my body makes, but that just doesn’t seem to happen.
My brain feels dormant, but the punisher inside of me never sleeps. I have felt like crap and still I beat myself up for not getting any writing done. I sit at my desk, in pain and discomfort, and tell myself that I am a useless fuck who can’t even come up with one word for a poem I have been working on for ages, but who gives a crap because I am total shit as a writer anyway; the string of recent rejections proves it. No one can argue with the punisher.
Then, the punisher chastises me for being negative and too stubborn and too stupid to create a positive dialogue in my mind; if I could just think good thoughts, everything would be better. But, my brain isn’t wired that way. Something must be wrong with my brain. I am totally screwed and should clearly never attempt to write another word. I should probably just stay in the house for all time, so as not to inflict people with my negative defective brain.
So, I get some ice-cream and sit on the couch, and the punisher sits right next to me, whispering in my ear, telling me that I am a fat loser who can’t even commit to a healthy lifestyle change. If I were a good person, I wouldn’t eat ice-cream, or crisps or sourdough toast. So, now, I am a useless fuck, wannabe writer, fat loser, bad person with a defective brain.
The only thing left to do is go to bed. The punisher has been particularly brutal this week, so I am exhausted and actually fall asleep, and stay asleep until it’s 4am and time to get up. I stretch my legs. I feel a bit weightless. The punisher is nowhere in sight.
Sometimes, it takes a few hours of allowing myself to sleep and check out, to realize that it is ok not to write every day, to give myself time to heal when my body is in major protest mode and let my brain be still for a while. It is ok to be whoever I am in any given moment and to eat ice cream; it doesn’t make me useless, just human. So, fuck you punisher, because seriously, sometimes a bowl of broccoli just isn’t going to cut it.