It's NOT writer's block or a dead mused stuffed into a trunk in the attic, producing that sickly sweet rotten meat smell. "Must be a dead rat," you muse nervously as the great detectives wander through the corners of your mind, prodding at neurons with a bland, dull expression that could be hiding indigestion... or your ultimate fate.
If that last paragraph was not clue enough, the problem is OVER-inspiration.
Everywhere I turn there's something else I want to write about. At work, I have to re-read my support e-mails in a desperate attempt to purge the more colorful language -- with the exception of an occasional witty turn of phrase that I allow my established customers, the people who call me by my first name with delighted recognition. That's because they, in turn, know they can cut loose with incensed invective at their frustration, knowing that I would not only understand, but empathize completely.
Even my internal chats have started to show some interesting exchanges. One tech I've been assisting with some proof reading-was stunned by my ability to implement not only simple wording changes, but to make the formatting across multiple release notes 100% consistent in a very short period of time. My reply:
Deep within me slacker's darkest heart lies the shining bright maniacal grin of a chronic overachiever.**And I could think of was "Wow! That would make a GREAT tee-shirt design!", followed by this post -- the first in well over a month and a half. April showers, indeed!
"Allow me to explain... no, wait, is too much. I sum up..."
The ultimate curse of creativity is not having enough -- much as with search results, the problem is TOO MUCH. Too many ideas, possibilities, scenarios, approaches. For while I haven't been writing here, I've been cranking at work, building furniture at home (no, seriously), recovering hard drives and data, fixing vacuum cleaners in Phoenix for dcatt and Lilly, and working on cleaning up the mess I've made of my inter-personal relationships over the last 5 years.
Part of that process is discovering that I didn't always make the mess, or at least not all of it.
I know people have missed my posts -- off-line I've run into a few regulars who ask, and I know that part of the solution is figuring out how to set up some sort of regular routine that gives me enough flexibility that it doesn't feel like a "chore" (this is supposed to be what I WANT to do), especially since a larger part of my work is -- writing. Lots of it. Of course, that's the mostly sanitized for your commercial protection, with a good dose of avoiding "career limiting moves".
I realized recently that was affecting my PERSONAL blogging. While I deliberately don't go into too many details about work, I still felt, to some degree, that this sort of flouncing about in public with the literary equivalent of a crotchless Carmen Miranda costume would cause me no end of trouble. Ultimately, I have to find a balance -- while that seems to be a quest of Indiana Jones proportions (only a couple more weeks until "Crystal Skull"! Woo-hoo!) I'm starting to believe that I can pull it off.
I have to remember why I wrote in the first place. It's FUN. It's a game using ones vocabulary to produce a phrase so tight, so fraught with meaning, that it smacks you write between the eyes and leaves you sorting through bits of your own brain matter to figure out how they changed you forever, even when you were the one who uttered them. That's why Therapy works, folks -- not because of what the head doctor says but what he gets YOU to say.
That crazed over-achiever in me wants to do it all, and do it now. I have to find the balance between him and the slacker who just wants it to be done already, and to enjoy the lazy, sore and slack muscled aftermath.
* You know it's been a long time since the last post when the web editor was upgraded between your last post and now. I hate the context menus that pop up in the text field, interfering with FireFox's spell checker. Otherwise, not bad.
** Just on the safe side, that IS copyright 2008, Yohannon. All rights reserved. I'm not going to be done unto as Robert Crumb was with "Keep On Truckin'".