At Row Fee

I have to say, I miss my old muse from a decade back. She was the best. Always whispering in my ear – okay, not always – many times SCREAMING multiple things at once, a non-stop source of creativity. In fact, there were often too many ideas. My fingers couldn’t type them out fast enough to capture them before they disappeared into the ether.

Now? Crickets.

Sure, I have grumblings of some ideas that I’ve gathered, but they aren’t the full-blown realizations I used to get directly transmitted to my brain. More like late-night drunken post-it scribblings that you find the morning after. This one here says “parks for bored aardvarks.” Now I’m not trying to argue the merits of such a park, but how the hell is that a blog post?

You take those few ideas, toss in some recently rekindled creativity, and encouragement from an all-too-kind and perhaps-too-chipper friend, and that lands us here. Not that I’m sure yet where here is.

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed as far as the technical aspects of blog-keeping go. It’s been a long time since I messed with themes and CSS and plugins. I used to be thumbs-deep in all that. There’s been a lot of progress in my absence and I’m too lazy to be bothered relearning it all over a decade later. Which is fine, because it just so happens this designing bit is completely the sort of thing my chipper friend knows. (He may also be good at slaying kobolds, but that’s for another time.)

“You just do the writing,” he said. “I’ll take care of everything else. Just write. You’re a genius, my friend! Don’t you remember from high school?”

Mmm, right. Genius. In high school.

Okay. I can totally forget about all that other stuff, the design, the administrative stuff, and just write.

Focus on nothing but the writing.


This is going to be great.

So this is good.

I can write about anything I want. Whatever springs to mind.

Nothing’s springing to mind.

Come on, something, spring. Anything.

Fuck, what if there’s nothing left? What if I used it all up? What if I’ve had all the creative thoughts I’m going to have?

So, sitting down to a blank canvas nowadays, as it turns out, brings me anxiety, something I already possess in some abundance. (Again, another time.)

My writing muscle has greatly atrophied. And yes, it most certainly is a muscle. Like any other skill, you need to use it every so often to maintain it. The writer’s block is strong.

“Just write! You’ve got this, Karl. You’re a brilliant writer! You’ve GOT this!”

Then he went into some spiel about how you just have to sit down and shake it off and start typing anything in your head to get the flow going. No matter what, even if it’s crap, just write, write, write. And I couldn’t just dismiss it as some ridiculous Pollyanna cheerleading nonsense because he’s a talented bastard who has walked the walk and written actual books, something I’ve only done halfway. Multiple times. And then Antonio Banderas 90s movies somehow came into it, along with a pretty sensational polar bear with a fucked-up leg that I drew in 10th-grade art class when I first moved to the mountainous southwestern desert and sat directly across from the guy now cheering me on. I don’t know, it was all kind of a whirlwind. You kind of had to be there on the phone with him and I at 2:30 in the morning just a couple of weeks ago. Before the new iteration of SecondHand Tryptophan came to be.

Anyhow, I don’t want you thinking this entire post was just me procrastinating writing a blog post. No, no, not at all. It’s just to say that I’m here now and I’m going to spend time focusing on nothing but the writing.

Just letting the ideas flow.

This is going to be great.

Any moment now.

Shit, maybe “The Mask of Zorro” one more time.

10 thoughts on “At Row Fee

  1. I feel you. I still have more than 50 “drafts” in my list of unpublished crap, most of which are a bare line or two or half an idea or perhaps it was meant to just be a post title – I don’t even know. Plus I re-read stuff I wrote in 05 or 08 and I get all WHO THE FUCK EVEN WROTE THAT IT’S BRILLIANT/IT’S SHIT
    So welcome back, Kotter.

    1. I wish I had 50 drafts sitting there waiting to be developed instead of, you know, the one. I’ve got a little notepad with some basic ideas, that’s about it.

    1. I’m just grinding through. It’s not coming easily, but something comes out eventually. And thanks.

  2. You may be thinking of the goddess, Jaime Murray. Who actually commented on the blog. Twice. Forget the years of posts I lost when the old 2HT was hacked. It was the loss of those two comments that hurt the most. Sniff, even still.

  3. Anxiety for me is what prevents me from blogging lately. I have tons of ideas, drafted posts and other things creative. I also blame distractions and many interruptions. And as you are seeing, those things keep from commenting on others’ blogs for all too long.

    1. I hear you on the anxiety front. It’s been biting me, too. And I’m kind of juggling too many things at the moment.

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