Sometimes I feel as if I’m floating weightless through (the illusion of) time and space. Like Major Tom in his tin can over earth watching that cloudy blue marble twinkle away into the infinite black. It’s a feeling I’ve known at the end of every good book and every failed relationship with another person. It’s the feeling I end up with whenever I finish one story and end up blocked creatively on another. A circuit’s dead; there’s something wrong as I try to create a new world to enjoy.
It happens more than I like to admit.
Suddenly the angst and hopelessness of a blank page looking mockingly at my pen boils up inside and I’m left floating a million miles from any place I could call home. I’ve looked for solutions. The Hemingway, alcoholism (or damn near it) to awaken the sleeping literary giant leaves me sick, confused and staring at an indecipherable spread of chicken scratch of beer stained paper. I was never one for drugs not that I suspect they would have done anything more than the alcohol.
The Creative Writing solution fares no better in my tiny capsule spinning end over end into the abyss. Writing something just for the practice of writing becomes a nuisance when what you’re saying is drivel. It just wastes a lot of paper and makes my hand cramp.
The Living Muse is probably the worst of all and only adds a neurosis or two to the writer’s dilemma. Finding someone to inspire you, to wake that soul of fire and make the pen bleed its black life onto the page is great when you see it on television. Not so much in reality. Spending all your time chasing this idealistic wonder, trying to romance and seduce the muse into your bed and mind leaves you busy and distracted from the art and depressed when all your conquests fall short of that heroic glory you imagined.
I’m sorry, you’re still reading this expecting me to offer the cure to the poet’s blyte, aren’t you? Sorry. If I had the answer I’d be writing for a living from my beautiful estate in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, not dabbling. There’s hope, always hope as long as I can find a pen and a pad and something to pique my curiosity. Just feeling a bit like that man floating in the most peculiar way.
So, from this sattelite floating just beyond the moon, this is Major Tom signing off for now.