You Must Unlearn All That You Have Learned
A lot harder.
Sometimes it feels like I’m wringing a dry cloth.
Yesterday, I stared at a cursor all day long. I wrote and erased a hundred or so sentences. I didn’t really do much but contemplate the fact that I might not be a person who can write anymore. That wasn’t as terrifying a thought as I thought it would be, which is also frightening.
I definitely feel something inside of me trying to get out. And it feels the way that writing felt, but I have to entertain the idea that maybe it isn’t.
Maybe it’s something else.
I know I could put some words down on a page. I could work it out like a job. You might not even be able to tell the difference… but I used to be able to find a “crease.” I could just poke around in my head, put my finger to a spot and say “Oh, here is where we go next” and navigate it all by instinct.
I’ve written quite a bit since the change, but when I look back over it, there something missing.
Maybe it’s the whole me/him thing again. I know I talk about “do the opposite” like it’s a joke, and it is, but I also have very religious sentiments about it. I began as a joke, and now I’m a person. Yet, however fucked-up BC Woods was, he was definitely a more natural writer than I am.
I might be able to write better stories and better books than him because I have a better work ethic, and for as much potential as he had, he was never going to do that. However, I miss being able to poke around in my head and find that crease by instinct. I miss that feeling of knowing where the “edges” are in a story.
I think maybe that’s simultaneously self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating. Was I ever actually good? I was okay. Not great. I was a mediocrity. Most people are. But now I’m not even a mediocrity. I’m a guy trying to do a job. It feels like work, at least.
I’ll keep at it.
Hopefully something gives.
Oh, and I’ve been talking to my cats.