Writing Prompts Again

I have collected more than a baker’s dozen of writing prompts through the years.  They have been collected on the hope that they would help a story develop, or contribute to characters’ depth, and three dimensional build-up.

Yet for the most part they have languished in files, folders, binders, and notebooks.  They have collected dust, and tears. They have served as a reminder that I have put off today what I should have done.

Plans have been made, regarding these collected prompts.  Great plans.  The best plans.  I have taken them to coffee shops, and workshops, and libraries.  When it comes time to put to use, I find some other activity to engage in, usually sexting, or reading blogs.  This in turn leads to frustration, and depression and anger.  But I fail to scold myself for not following through.

This particular plan of using the prompts as blog posts has been a dream in waiting for at least 3 years. Why wait so long?  There is no one answer.  Most I am ashamed to admit to, i.e. depression, work, the ease and comfort of the chair which is planted in front of the T.V. Obsessive compulsion to watch said T.V.  Various bad habits I have fallen into-sexting, porn, nervous eating, anxiousness when it comes to writing.  I get up, walk into the kitchen, open the refrigerator, mindlessly root around for something that is tasty.  That something is usually unhealthy.  So, I debate myself on consuming it now, or when I return in 20 minutes.  Or debate whether to eat half, or to eat the unhealthy option now and only eat healthy options the rest of the day.  Sometimes, I can shut the fridge before I grab any food.  But more often than not the battle is lost.  There is no real hunger.  It is anxious hunger.  My mind is worried about all the terrible things the wider world will surely say about what I write.  What I will write.  What I have written.  Therefore whatever foolishness I have planned to write using these collected prompts will surely cause me pain.

But what if the pain of not doing it, becomes greater than the pain of avoidance?

I feel that is where I am.  This place, where the pain of not following through on this plan is greater than the pain of skipping it, sucks.  I can’t stand it.  I hate rolling in a blanket of depression on the bed.  I hate not being able to propel myself out of this blanket.  I hate being able to get up and go to work for someone else, but can’t gather the strength to work for myself.

Oh the frustration.

I am attempting to say enough.  I don’t know how long my strength will last in this endeavor.  Nor if I have the strength to break this cycle, to shred the blanket of depression.

All I know is that today the pain of not trying is greater than the pain of avoidance.

And so I begin.  Ever so slowly, I begin.

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Creative Blocks-I Feel Them Part II

To unblock myself I took up the challenge of writing one blog post a day for a write.  I found 365 prompts on the web.  I was doing pretty well.  Then I ran into Team Melissa and that whole debacle-I will write more on this in another post.  I didn’t post for about 2 months.  Now that I am free of Team Melissa I have taken up the challenge again.

While it may be put aside if I go to summer school in England-I know myself and get caught up in new adventures and hanging out at Cambridge would be so cool, for now it is a priority.

Often as I write I am dissatisfied with the output-not the quantity but the quality.  So, I get up and walk away disgusted.  I attempt to write on another project, but the results are almost always the same.  I have been working to turn this to an advantage.

Instead of keeping at the piece until I ready to throw it in the trash, I stop as soon as I begin to grow frustrated.  I try to jump into another piece I have been working on.  I work on that until the frustration builds and move again.  So far it hasn’t been as cathartic as I hoped.  But it keeps me moving which is something, even if the movement is more sideways than forward.

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What Challenges My Creativity?

Besides life and second jobs?  Nothing else really…except myself.  The voice of doubt is forever going off in my head.  Anxiousness.  When this strikes I can’t sit still and I make a bazillion trips to the fridge.  I walk aimlessly around the house.  I channel surf and on the plus side I begin to clean my rather messy house.  I even do dishes, but I just never seem to get to the bathroom.

Another problem is the amount of time I use trying to write a paragraph.  I can use an hour.  Then I get frustrated that I could have been doing something else.  Then I get frustrated that is whole writing thing is a farce, and that maybe I should move on and forget it.  And it all sort of spirals away from me.  I will spend more time reeling it back together, before sitting down and picking up a pen.

I have recently begun thinking about a potential problem, well problems.  How do I know I am done?  Where do I send my finished stories?  What format do I use?  Where do I find the answer to this question?

Naps.  I love my naps.  I have been working on writing  for a couple of hours, then napping, then getting up and begin writing again.  I am much better at this.

Embarrassment.  I have returned to my hometown and I find I don’t feel comfortable sharing my writing with anyone here.  I feel out of place here.  I have always felt out of place here.  It is one of many reasons I moved away (I should write them all down and see how many there are).  I feel embarrassed to share what I have written.  I am embarrassed to find how critical I consider others. and the situation I have found here.  I am embarrassed how little I have accomplished in writing.  I have begun 20 stories at least, yet I have to finish one.

Feeling trapped.  i feel trapped here.  I feel trapped by money.  I feel trapped by lack of activities here.  I feel trapped by lack of friends.  I feel trapped by not blending in.  I feel I can’t go out to eat alone, or to the movies alone, or to the small events this place has, alone.  I feel trapped by that.  I feel trapped that all I can think about is leaving.  And I feel trapped that I have an obligation to my father.  Of course most responsibility leaves me feeling trapped.  Though I don’t feel trapped by making this commitment to writing-in fact it is freeing.  I feel trapped by life here.

Alone.  I have been alone a long time.  Yet until I moved back here I never felt loneliness.  It leaves me scared and full of despair.  It makes me question if I have made the right decisions.  I know when I travel every aspect of life feels right.  I know living in Portland feels right.  Almost nothing about here feels right.  Only looking after my father feels right; and I still feel trapped by that, which in turn leaves me feeling guilty.

Despair.  I despair that I am stuck in this town until I die.  While this town is great to raise a family, and is fairly safe-hell i still leave my front door unlocked and windows unbarred-it is no place for me.  Yet I keep coming back to my father.  For I despair to leave him here without family.  There is no lesser of two despairs.  He is in his 70’s and is a big rambling house and while he is the absent minded professor-by type and literally-I believe it to getting worse.  But I am not sure, if it this is true.  Perhaps I am seeing what is not really there.  My grandfather on my mother’s side suffered Alzheimer’s and I was one of the first to give voice to this fact.  Of course I was young and dismissed.  Now I see similar things but not as severe as my grandfather. My dad has always been forgetful.  I am not sure what to do, or say, or should I say anything.  While our relationship is fairly good these days, it wasn’t always.  I have never been his favorite son, that distinction goes to my brother.  But he is on the coast, with a family, and new job, and isn’t here.  My brother’s and I’s relationship has been rocky too.  I am still peeved that he didn’t answer my pleas for help.  I more or less insisted that he move here to help dad.  That way I could move away and travel the world.  It might have been selfish but I know if I travel everything will feel right again.  And maybe in that rightness, the answer will come to me.

I am sure I have other blocks to creativity.  I am sure I will touch upon all of this again.  In fact I have been writing about the second job, and the situation with my dad.  All I want at this point is  to leave here.  And the guilt of that desire is crushing my soul.

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