Post-California Blog – Entry 1

Alright, I know I’ve kind of left this alone for a while, and I feel guilty enough about it, believe me. I’m back from California with the contents of my suitcase spilled all over my floor and about a dozen blog entries started, but unfinished. Over the weekend I got caught up with visiting friends and watching Friends. I found every single episode of every single season online. (Good things come to those who wait because they were never allowed to watch adult shows as a kid.) And while there was a nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me to get back to writing, I had to get to The One Where Ross and Rachel… You Know… before my mind was settled and I could do something else with my free time.

But I keep worrying that this dry spell was something other than that.

At times when my grandpa and I would really get into a story, and I would be taking notes as fast as I could to keep up with him and my thoughts, I would get really excited and anxious about what was coming next when he would suddenly stop and say, “I can’t go on.” I’d pull my eyes away from my notes in surprise and see that he was crying, holding his bifocals in one hand and rubbing his leather forehead with the other. I got frustrated at first because, for starters I only had ten days to get so much done, and secondly the times when he was the most emotional were the times when I hoped he would say something I wouldn’t want to miss. It was hard to be there as a writer trying to get information when who I am first of all is a granddaughter, hearing stories about my own bloodline for the first time. Those moments when he was too emotional to keep talking were the moments where those two parts of who I am rubbed elbows. In all honesty, that’s what made me stop writing for a while.

That, and the feeling that writers get sometimes that goes something like, “Oh, crud. Everything I am writing sounds worse and worse the more I write.” Not exactly Writers’ block. More like Writers’ Angst.

There! I have just diagnosed myself with Writers’ Angst. Now for the cure…

On the last day of my California journey, I looked through my grandma’s desk. Every drawer had a purpose: envelopes, stamps, pens, extra erasers and pieces of graphite, even bits of loose confetti she put in cards for special occasions. The only thing that really caught my eye was an index folder, camouflaged in a sea of like folders, yet looking out of place because it was labeled “INSPIRATION.” Inside were comic strips, newspaper articles, quotes about faith, an American flag sticker, and postcards from her hometown, Chicago, that I bet no one knew she had.
And I guess I could compile a folder and fill it with a few of my favorite things. That might be neat. That might help. But the way I see it, putting that all together would just take up time I could be writing, and I think the cure for not wanting to write or not “feeling up to it” or losing motivation – is to just write.

And write and write and write and write and write…

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