Someone recently asked me why my flood of postings has slowed to the mere occasional drip over time. One answer would be that I have written all that I know to write, and it is time to move on. Not true–c’mon, isn’t obvious that I know a lot of stuff? Perhaps I burned out on my blog. That’s a good theory but also untrue. The truth? Writer’s block. That’s a real thing. In the 1960s, writer Joseph Mitchell wrote a fascinating book, Joe Gould’s Secret. Mitchell then spent the next 30+ years going to his office daily without ever publishing anything significant again. Scott Fitzgerald suffered from it. So, too, rumor has it, that Herman Melville quit writing for the same reason. I’m in good company it seems.
I don’t know when or how it happened. It didn’t affect my work. I’m a lawyer and frequently write. Legal writing, though, is a bit different. I regurgitate or recast facts and apply existing law to them. It’s more analysis than entertainment, if one can call what I’ve done here entertaining.
How could this happen to the author of the seminal work on small talk? My screed against Aunt Bee is so legendary that I’ve received emails from people both agreeing with and castigating me. I don’t even know how these people got my address. Who else would posit the theory, as yet unchallenged, that Dennis Rodman was, in fact, the President of the United States? My most popular piece, with almost 30,000 views, is about my hometown. It prompted this comment:
A man or woman who can stir this kind of fervor in the reader cannot be silent–or maybe he should remain forever silent.
Over the years, this silly blog has viewed tens of thousands of times. Just today, someone in Sri Lanka looked at it. Why? I don’t know. I might not be Stephen King, but people do look at this. I guess anything on the Internet is worth at least peak. Hey, people get bored in Sri Lanka, too.
Over the last couple of years, I started many posts only to give up and delete them. I just hit a wall. That’s the block. Imagine you are reading something, hit a word and you can’t read anymore. You know you can read but you still can’t. The words are there and you recognize them, but they don’t make sense. That’s writer’s block or something like it.
It’s frustrating. I was BLOCKED during the Trump-Clinton election! Donald Freakin’ Trump ran for President–and won–and I couldn’t come up with a single interesting post! Maybe it’s just as well. I’d hate to be subjected to a vicious tweeting or find myself on the wrong side of the Trump Wall in a few months. Folks who love Trump do NOT like jokes about him, almost as little as he himself likes them. (I can almost guarantee at least one nasty comment about how they do like jokes about him and that I am a socialist.)
Now that I’ve written this, I’m on my way back. It’s short and–for me–relatively concise. That’s a start. I’ll take it.
So, like person on an all-kale diet, I’m starting feel unblocked. A have a few ideas now. We’ll see what happens. Time will tell. In the meantime, peruse my archives. There’s something there for everyone. And more to come…