Sometimes I’ll sit down to write these blog posts and I’ll just have no ideas what to write about. My mind has taken the day off. I try to keep myself on a pretty strict schedule, so that I can hopefully get at least one thing written a day, maybe two, ideally two-and-a-half, three, three-and-a-half, but I’ll get days like these where no matter how long I stare at the computer screen, I just can’t think of anything to say.
And then my heart starts beating faster and faster and I’m worried that maybe I never really had anything to say in the first place, or maybe I did, but I lost whatever it was and I start thinking about trying again tomorrow. But what if tomorrow is equally as bad? How many days in a row can I keep up just sitting here and staring at a blank Word document? Is that a sustainable process?
I try my best to just put my mind on shuffle. I’ll kind of just let my thoughts run loose and try and see what’s going on in my head from a distance. Maybe a stray sentence will run through and will sound interesting. I’ll type it out and see if it sparks a new train of thought. On my best days, I’ll follow these little snippets and just observe and let them take me away and the next thing I know I’m done. I’m done, and it’s over, and I let out a huge sigh, I did it. But I look around and I didn’t pay attention to how I got here. I never really know how I wound up here in first place.
Generally I like to put a good chunk of distance between actually writing this nonsense and putting it up to read. A lot of the time I find that, right after I write something, there is just such a sense of relief and satisfaction at having actually gotten through writing it that I’ll kind of just tell myself that I did a good job, just so I can let it rest. But then I’ll look at it days or weeks later and realize that I was trying way too hard to be funny or nothing really made sense.
I get in the habit when I’m writing sometimes where I feel like I’m trying too hard to mimic my own writing style. Like I’ve established a certain tone or method of telling stories and now I’m bound to just repeat myself over and over again. If you’ve ever watched an episode of your favorite TV show, one that’s probably been on for a season too long, and you’ve thought to yourself that the main character is trying too hard to act like the main character, well, you can kind of get what I’m afraid of doing then.
Sometimes I’ll drink too much coffee and I won’t be able to think straight. And my hands will be moving too fast to be typing correctly. Usually coffee is absolutely essential to the process, but every once in a while, maybe I won’t have slept great the night before, maybe something inside will be a little off, but the coffee just makes me freak out even more and I’m a hundred times more wired than I usually am and I can’t do anything.
Sometimes I’ll get way too drunk before I start writing and then I’m spilling stuff all over my computer and I’ll be making way too much noise and my neighbors will bang on the walls and tell me to knock it off and I’ll start banging right back. So the neighbors call the cops and I have to pretend like I have no idea what the officer is talking about when he knocks on my door, like the neighbor is just crazy.
Every other three days I need just a few lines of blow to get really get the creative juices ramped up. But I’m pretty sure my dealer cut the last batch with some plaster or something, because I could just feel my sinuses totally caked with cement. I started freaking out and had to go to the emergency room, but when I got there, I was too scared to tell the doctor the truth, so I told him I thought I had an ear infection. He prescribed me some antibiotics, so I got home and crushed those up and snorted those. I think it kind of worked actually.
One time I thought I’d try hanging myself upside down and maybe the new perspective would help me come up with something really cool to write about. But typing on a computer while you’re hanging upside down is next to impossible. I bought a separate keyboard and hung it upside down to the ceiling with some string. It looked as if I should have been able to type, but I couldn’t really press down on the keys hard enough without sending the whole keyboard swinging back and forth. It was incredibly frustrating and I just got a huge headache and it also was really hard getting myself back down again.
One time I put on a monkey costume and chained myself to a desk and took all of the clocks out of the room. I started banging on the keys randomly and kept it up for what had to have been at least four days straight, but all I came up with was a few random chapters from some lame-o Dean Koontz novel.