A Writer’s Plea
It is not a creative block that has hindered the proliferation of the novel, but rather a coagulating mass of lethargy and self doubt that has been simultaneously forming in the brain and in the soul. What is the solution? The question poised seems to be akin to asking a rat which ligament is expendable, to be chewed off, when it is caught in a trap.
Fine. I accept my circumstance, but what now?
I am not ken to simple literary genius. I do not believe in inherently installed vision and talent. That is too easy. That is a reason to drink yourself to death. Spit in the face of your own inception; in the face of your own potential – the bastards that expect of you can all go and rot waiting, filthily tapping their watches hoping to see the masterpiece arrive at their feet. No, I believe in practice. I believe in constant training and the constant nurture of one’s ability: each stanza can be written better, each sentence of prose can flow with thicker blood (always strive for the revolution over a riot that time will forget, and let the heads roll like boulders through a reader’s mind unto the next page). Do not excuse yourself as simply being born gifted, just like some girl that is the prodigious savant of fellatio but can’t balance her own checkbook. Everything takes time, and we have way too much of it – despite what the dying preach.
I do not surrender and likely never will, mostly because I’m an obstinate cunt kicking against the imagined pricks, but also because I want and crave to want further. But I am still, for a long time now, incapable of overcoming myself and sitting pious before the words. What is the tonic available which would alleviate my impediment?
I’ve tried the opiates and they were nice and they cocooned me beautifully in oblivion. I’ve tried the warming smell of boozers’ company and it was friendly and the songs were usually good. I have found several hidden temples between the legs of wonderfully wrathful women where I could preach and concoct new mythologies. None have worked yet. It is not that I can’t finish the novel; it is that I can no longer open up the working draft at all.
Fear, fear, fear, and then a furthering of self loathing. Oh, you fucking bitch – I ravage myself in castigation. Man up! What the fuck is wrong with you?! You can write it. You know the letters and the structure and the grammar and all those pretty nouns that wait to be penetrated by stylishly dressed adjectives carrying black cards and large cocks inside their overcoats. In others words, you know what you have to do.
And I do. I truly do. But how can I find my direction again? Is it some Buddha, or some Jesus, or some Krishna that I should be seeking? Maybe I can go in for some of that choiceless awareness touted by Krishnamurti to unclog the creative channels. Maybe there’s some demiurgic powder that can be bought and snorted, sold somewhere down the block. Goddamnit, I have no idea and it might never come.
But tonight, despite my feeling this raging impotence, I will push myself to sit in front of the prologue, then in front of the first chapter, then the second, then the last and I will again try to wrestle my retching dubiety into the fucking ground, I promise… and I will write again like falling off a ledge. Because eventually we all have to find a conclusion to what we’ve started, no matter how unsure we are of the outcome.
One day one of us will write something worth a tombstone, worth someone’s remembrance, worth the spark of life we’re doomed to waste. One day one of us will be the creator we are meant to be. It might take another night, another mistake, another pack of cigarettes. But it will come.
Otherwise why do we dream aspirations the shape of racehorses. Why do we buy our tickets in the first place…