Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blogger's block

As my more devoted readers may have noticed (hi, Mom), my blogging has slowed down lately. And I can't blame school, because the semester is over. But for some reason, I have found myself struggling to come up with things to blog about.

Have I lost my blogging mojo? And if so, how can I get it back?

I hate the idea of blogging about something I don't care about, just for the sake of posting regularly. I started the Vagnino Monologues not because I wanted to be a blogger per se (I still really don't read blogs) but because I thought I had some funny stories to share and to get myself in the habit of writing on an almost daily basis. And usually, I have so many ideas for posts that I have to write them down and parse them out over a few weeks.

But here I am, 8 days since my last post, writing about having nothing to write about.

Which is a cliche.

Let's see what the experts have to say about writing and writer's block:

"Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials. It's a matter of doing everything you can to avoid writing, until it is about four in the morning and you reach the point where you have to write."
(Paul Rudnick)

Hmmm. That makes sense to me. But you know who disagrees?

"Planning to write is not writing. Outlining--researching--talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing." (E.L. Doctorow)

Fine, Debbie Downer Doctorow. Way to rain on Rudnick's parade.

"The writer's duty is to keep on writing."
(William Styron)

Sage words, Styron. Not particularly useful, though. Now I just feel guilty because I'm not fulfilling my duty.

"I carry a notebook with me everywhere. But that's only the first step. Ideas are easy. It's the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats." (Sue Grafton)

If only I respected Sue Grafton enough to take her advice. Alas, I don't plan on titling my first chapbook "P is for Poetry."

"Lower your standards and keep writing."
(William Stafford)

I feel so inspired! Unsurprisingly, that depressing tidbit comes from the poet responsible for this devastating stanza (from the poem "Ask Me"):

Sometime when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt; ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

Ready to kill yourself yet?

Faulkner, cocky bastard, had these choice words to say about his process:

"I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o'clock every morning."

Gee, Faulkner, must be nice. At 9:00 a.m. I can barely string together enough words to buy a coffee.

"To write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write."
(Gertrude Stein)

Ah, of course! Everything is clear now.


Jonathan Lehman said...

This doesn't count as a post, btw.

Shari said...

Hi Honey, it's Mom. Did you mean "STRING together enough words"??