Think about ideas rising to awareness in your mind. Where do they come from. What summons the next thing you think about? Sam Harris, in his talks on meditation, talks about how completely uncontrolled this burbling spring of thoughts and consciousness is. All we can do is sit back and notice thoughts arising one after another, never being able to say you authored any of them.
Over the last few weeks I have noticed one thing: my burbling spring of inspiration and motivation to write has dried up. Old Faithful isn’t spouting any more. I am as perplexed by the disappearance of drive as I was by the incessant compulsion to write that preceded it. What triggers the reflex? What scratches the itch and turns it off?
A few weeks ago I participated in a “Story Slam” in Madison, Wisconsin. That’s a live story-telling event in which participants tell true stories in 5-10 minutes, and audience judges vote for best story. I told a substantial portion of one chapter of my memoir, to much laughter and other feedback from the 100+ people in attendance. I was awarded 3rd place on the night. Besides the recognition, it meant I could take home a 6-pack of beer from the leftover beverages from the show’s sponsor, Ale Asylum Brewery in Madison.
Is that all it took to quench my drive to write — a little adulation and beer?
I also have received responses from 5 of the 6 journals to which I had submitted another chapter. One elected to publish me (Good news!)… but then I found out it was a journal for writers over 65 years old. I had to fess up that I did not qualify, nor did I know the age requirement when I submitted. I also received 4 rejections from other notable journals, and I await the final decision on the last of the six November 2017 submissions. Yes, response takes 5 months!
Is that all it took to quash my fervor to publish? A few rejections? Slow progress?
My story revolves around a number of revelations over 30 years which, each in turn have forced me to reconsider what I “knew” to be true. Yet another dropped in my lap a few weeks ago.
Is that all it takes to sap me — the reality that there is no “end” to this story?
Whatever the reason, I’m fighting back. I’m planting my ass here today to force myself to write, to prime the pump, and to hopefully get the mojo flowing again.