|This photo from an old magazine |
has nothing to do with the story.
I have a problem posting without
an accompanying picture.
It's a thing.
Plus I like it a lot.
By John R. Greenwood
I have this disease where my mind is always treading water thinking of something to write about. I do it in my car, in the shower, and in my sleep. I'm afflicted with a need to be looking for something. I may be part beagle. I've used that metaphor before when describing my visits to a bookstore. "Rooting around the tables of books like a hunting dog trying to pick up the scent of a cottontail."
I woke up this morning with the joints of my feet and knees aching. You could feel them tightening like a cinched belt. It gets so bad I dream in discomfort. I'm not complaining. Achy joints are better than a lot of other problems I could have. These are things I should expect after forty years of making a living with a two month college education. I'm good with that. It does get me up and moving quicker than normal because once in motion the pain dissipates. It's like breaking up the chunks of sugar in the sugar bowl. You squish them against the sides of the bowl, stir them around a little, and in no time at all the sugar is back to it's old self. The heaping teaspoon of sand-like grains don't even recall being a clump.
Enough whining, back to writing.
Here's my problem. I'm a lazy writer. I have a short attention span. I would be the perfect caption writer for a card company or a cartoonist. I have such a short attention span I lose interest by the end of page one. I love the thinking and searching part too much. I haven't figured out if it's an extreme case of procrastination or a minor case of not being able to identify my true niche?
Maybe it's simply a case of hero worship. I am enamored by the vision of a hermit writer with mussed hair bent over a 1940's Smith Corona at an antique desk perched in front of an open window that overlooks a cornfield or a city street. I have a deep admiration for someone who spends years and thousands of dollars researching another book about Abraham Lincoln or the Kennedy Assassination. I shouldn't admit that, but I honestly don't have that depth of commitment. Maybe it's more about the timing- too much life going around me. I would surely be a starving artist if I had to write to pay the cable bill.
I think this is a deeper issue. This is about enjoying life in general. It's about turning over every stone and looking around every corner. The, "What ifs?," and "I was going to's.," are in our veins. They inhabit all of us; some more than others.
I took a couple vacation days off hoping to regroup, reorganize, and recalculate my priorities and clear my head. The result is anything but. Quiet time is like pouring lighter fluid on monkey-mind. My brain races like a driverless motorboat circling in the waves until it runs out of gas.
I need professional help. Not the, lay-on-the-couch kind but the technical skilled kind who is proficient in editing and organizing thoughts into an understandable collection. I need someone who can stop the swirling long enough to recognize whether it's a true tornado or just a wind sheer. I'm a mess.
I do have a writing project and an idea. I have a subject, reams of material, and a vision. What I need is real life direction. The whole thing bounces around my head frantically looking for the outlet. Its like that word you're trying to think of but can't, or trying to remember the name of the family that used to live across the street when you were a kid. It's so close, yet you can't grasp it. That is where I am and where I've been for a while. I seek inspiration and I find it, yet the underbrush is thick and I get lost again and again.
I can do this. I will do this. The problem is another 365 days just blistered by and they won't slow down. I keep reading books by others and enjoying their stories. It's my turn. I have a passion for something that I can't describe.
I need a nap.
Maybe it will come to me.