More audience. More writer’s block.

I have been very busy and I cannot write.  I’ve spent several nights staring at a blank screen wanting to connect with you but feeling unable to do so.

When I cannot write I feel imprisoned by my own skin.  By my own brain.  By the helplessness of humanity.  I feel inadequate and empty.  Mediocre.  Unbecoming.  Banal.

When I cannot write I am nothing.

Or, so it seems.

This is not as dreary as it might appear.  I am being a little dramatic.  But, when I am busy I am something: mother, friend, partner, wife.  It is only when I sit down to create something—some  reflection, some story, some poem, some post– and cannot, that I feel empty and alone.  A shell of a woman.  A shell of an artist.

Writing is a solo act.  Until, of course, you have your audience.

Here comes that promised answer to my question!   (If you have not been reading my blog, the question has something to do with why people feel the need to seek out an audience.)

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An audience! Oh, an audience!

I’m here to write.  To fulfill my daily pledge.  But, I have been hesitant.  Not hesitant to write.  I have been writing.   I have been hesitant to post anything here.

A friend once asked me what inspires in people the driving need for an audience.  We were talking about blogs in particular.  The various types of blogs, the many varieties of sounding board.  I tried to justify my own need for an audience by claiming that I view my writing– in any form that it takes– as an art form.  I specifically stated that I don’t use my blog as much as a sounding board as a venue for my art. That I write essays, not journal entries.

How self-important.  How untrue. (My last post will attest to that.)

You see, I am one of those.  One of those that desires/craves/needs an audience.  Not just for my writing.  I’m sure that is why I am involved in theater.  I feel that way when I am dancing too.  Recently, with my therapist, I expressed the desire to be back on the salsa floor.  Salsa is something I am good at.  Something I can lose myself in.  Something that I imagine people are noticing.  Staring at.  Jealous of.

How self-important.

(Yes, when my therapist asked me, as homework, to dance for 5-10 minutes alone at home, I could not.  It’s just not the same, is it?)

So I am here.  Hoping you will stare right through me.  I am here justifying my need for an audience under the pretense that I am some sort-of artist.  That I am painting some manner of self-portrait that you will notice, stare at, contemplate, congratulate, love.

How, yes, self-important.

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A Brand New Day!

I woke this morning with a plan.  At least, it feels like a plan.  Isn’t it interesting that one day can be so different from the next?

I had a friend once, a spiritual soul, who told me to write down an “I will…” statement rather than an “If I…” statement (as in “I will travel to Italy” rather than “If I ever travel to Italy”) and place the note in a sacred location.  She suggested a little alter.  I chose the sacred space between the mattress and the box spring.

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On Writer’s Block or Olsen’s Silences Part Two

“This insatiable desire to write something before I die, this ravaging sense of the shortness and feverishness of life, make me cling, like a man on a rock, to my own anchor” ~ Virginia Woolf

“People ask me how I find the time to write with a family and a teaching job.  I don’t…  A writer needs time to write a certain number of hours every day… It is humanly impossible for a woman who is a wife and mother to work on a regular teaching job and write.  Weekends and nights and vacations are all right for reading but not enough for writing.  This is a full time job…”  ~ Margaret Walker

I only have one child.  This is often a source of sadness for me.  I wanted two children that were close together in age.  Life has not made that possible.  I believe, however, that life often gives us what we need.

I only have one child.  One husband.  One full-time job.  Still, I find it hard to write.  I find it hard to have any time to myself.  Unless, that is, it is scheduled time out of the house when I know that my husband will be home.  I dabble in theater once or twice a month.  I go to therapy once a week.  This only provides me with a fraction of my creative fix and my emotional sedation.

Perhaps, this lack of time and space is a fault of my own.  Perhaps if I asked for help.  Demanded the time.  Stayed up later.  Didn’t drink when I stayed up later.  Because, like Virginia Woolf had, I have “the insatiable desire to write something before I die”.  By writing, I suppose I mean the completion of some idea that has an audience and is recognized as something worthy of reading.

Lately, when I sit in front of the computer, I end up just staring at the screen.  I start work and don’t finish it.  I am feeling a little hopeless.

In order to write, one must have the time not only to put words on paper but to follow-through with ideas, to even conceive ideas, to really explore one’s self.

I am tempted to do it all over again.  Tempted to sit and stare.  Tempted to grab a beer from the fridge.  Tempted to close this document and fold the laundry.  I might, just might, do any or all of these things.  Still, that will not help me.  I will be dissatisfied, unfulfilled, again somewhat hopeless.  I will be that empty vessel on that chaotic sea.

I only have a limited amount of time.  Maybe ten minutes today.  If I am lucky, another fifty years.

I realize how dreadful I sound.  How full of angst and trepidation.  Still, how do I find that “anchor” and how do I carve out the time and the space?  How do I continue feeling inspired in the brief moments that I do have?

Okay, I did open a beer.  The inside of the bottle cap read: “Washes away anything that the world serves up.”  I like it.  I put my ear buds in and am streaming Pandora (Arcade Fire station) from my Nook.  My husband forced me into the “reading room” and is allowing me the time.  Let’s see what happens now.  Let us see!

An experiment:  If I post something creative in the next hour or two, you will know that the beer and the music and the faint solitude have worked.  If not, well then I have stared at the screen and retired to my room—somewhat tipsy—to read or fold laundry.

Let us see!