Staycations and Blank Pages

Well shit in a bag and punch it.

It’s been almost a whole week.

I used up all my vacation and took a staycation. I wanted to finish the living room and the dining room.

I also wanted to nap, and snack.

I haven’t done nearly enough of the latter for this to have been much of a relaxing time off.

Honestly, I went into work today to try and put in a column and just kinda, like, re-dose. I miss writing and I need the atmosphere.

For the attentional issues, there really is nothing like a comfortable shared office or a coffee shop. Honestly. Part of the reason I’ve been unable to pursue fiction as much as I want is because it’s, for me, not an issue of not being able to immerse myself in the process. It’s more a problem of remembering to come up for air. The natural boundaries and anchors in public spaces are what make me a functional writer at all. Being sort of moored in the world of what you need to do for yourself and others keeps me grounded in the writing. Natural pockets of time for independent writing produce themselves but the overall environment is one that provides structure and containment to that work.

I can engage with a creative project more consistently and productively when I must quickly and regularly transition out of it to interact with the present.

Anyhow, it’s been a long time without writing, anyhow, when your typical pace is to work on multiple small but complete pieces a day.

The column wasn’t coming easy. Or at all, really. So I knew I had to take a break. But it was odd for sure to feel a bit more intimidated than usual by a blank page.

I need to write every day. That much is for sure. Just yesterday, Harper came home with the penultimate first day of school essay, but first grade edition. She was asked to draw a picture of something from summer vacation.

And she was paralyzed by the openness of the assignment. Like, where to begin. The idea is so big. It’s specific but it’s massive and what one detail to just zero in and dive into the project through…she just couldn’t get past the panic.

Like turning an agoraphobic person out into the world, or the first time you’re a little too far from shore in the ocean. Too much freedom all at once. She was stupefied by the possibilities.

It’s that she’s smart and she’s got the kind of mind that can see all of the component parts of a thing or an experience or a memory, but have no idea how to use them to build a coherent thing.

Ideas people.

We’re great at the nebulous theories but proving them? That ain’t our department, kids.

Anyhow. I guess that’s another reason I like a lot of living background when I write. I’m reminded that I don’t get to worry about that and just write through it.

At home I could melt over one sentence for a hour if I let myself. Lots of fun and instructive free play but no real material out of it. At home is where I can refine craft. At work is where I can produce content.

It’s just how my brain works.

Think that’s what this blog is.

Also think I just solved my column problem.

One thought on “Staycations and Blank Pages

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