I have a confession to make. I have had writer’s block for the last three weeks. If you follow my blog or occasionally peruse the pages, you know that in addition to my passion for cooking, food, and motherhood, I like to have at, and write. I have currently, about 35 drafts that I am working on at any time on my blog. They stare at me with promise, with passion, with hope, and yes, they taunt me, fucking mocking me, waiting…prompting me for ideas.
These drafts contain, recipes waiting for photos, recipes to be tested, and unfinished works of writing that I start and can’t seem to find the momentum to finish. It’s not that the ideas or writing are poor, it’s that the way my mind works, I get a flood of ideas on a daily basis, in the car ride to and from work, in the shower, at night when sleep eludes me. They are what I imagine happens to any good songwriter worth his or [her] salt, like Billy Joel, well Elton John, but he has Bernie Taupin, so he’s really just on the hook for the music, Lzzy Hale, from Halestorm, and the great Chris Cornell, the tortured soul, that he was.
Ideas and shit
So these ideas, swirl around in my head, much like a whirlpool of sass, crazy ass shit, my to do list, random images from 1979 in my hood, just want to give you a visual, waiting for me to decode the encrypted bits that are stuck in limbo. Sometimes it comes to me as a feeling, sometimes it comes to me in a dream, and sometimes, I just start pounding away at my laptop and let the words unfold.
Now, for the good part of three weeks this pesky, pain in the ass, writer’s block has been so bad, that it is consuming me, mocking me. Now when I say writer’s block, I mean my essays, and my prose, and even my recipe creations. It’s not that I have run out of things to say, that will never happen until I take my dying breath, nor is it that I have run out of recipes to make. It is just that I am such a perfectionist, and so much wanting to share recipes that are not scattered on every page of everyone else’s blog and web page. Yes, I know we all make Chicken Parm and Egg Salad, the same way….Same old, same old. So this elusiveness in my ideas, is nothing any good writer hasn’t experienced at one point in their career, it happens, it sucks, and you just hope when the dust settles, you will not have given up all together on what you’ve started.
Quitting is not an option
I can most assuredly tell you, my mama didn’t raise a quitter, nor am I raising any. I can see how I have encountered this writer’s block, I am spread way too thin, more so than I wanted, or need to be. When I am at our Auto Repair business, which is when my fireman is working at the firehouse, two days a week, rotating shift, or takes a rare day off, and most days in between for me, I am, in between shuffling cars around, tending to service writing, customer’s needs, and such, I am pounding away at my laptop, and when I say pounding away, I broke my last keyboard on my laptop at the shop, typing away furiously at it, legit letters popped off and shit! Mad effort to get my writing down, as the words and thoughts were flooding me, and unfolding before me. As I usually write my recipes and blurb for the blog, on the days I am at the shop, and save the cooking and photography for when I am at home, where I have all my supplies and a kitchen.
Then there is the business of taking on a part-time endeavor, which I proudly have secured. A real freelance writing gig, that I have taken on, in addition to my blog. Hey, I have to pay the bills somehow, and my comedic tongue isn’t slaying it. Then you know the tasks of motherhood, getting time in to go to my son’s Varsity LAX games, and volunteering to help with team Pasta Night, to make copious amounts of pasta, meatballs, sausage and desserts for hungry teen LAX players, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, yada yada!!
The thing is though, I am not unique in juggling my life, women have been doing all of this for several decades, especially in light of more women making it into the workplace, seeking to, as the feminist promised, “have it all!” Career and motherhood. It is not that I am bitching about the madness of my life, or that I feel it is overwhelming in its demands, I just see how it is a balancing act that takes careful orchestration, dedication, and some semblance of selfishly taking control of the things that are important to you, and your journey to self. Sometimes that means disappointing those who don’t understand this journey, and finding the courage to forge ahead in spite of the lack of support, the mad real writer’s block, and the craziness of life.
Age is only a number
When I get to feeling that maybe I am too old to start anew, this career, this life, a new direction…I remind myself that my idol, Julia Child, didn’t started her Culinary career until she was in her 40’s, and wasn’t a household name, until 51, with her first appearance on PBS, with her premier cooking show, The French Chef. Danielle Steel, romance novelist, didn’t publish her first book until she was 31, and E.L. James the wildly famous author, of the modern-day BDSM breakthrough novel, 50 Shades of Grey didn’t start writing, until she was 46. So I am reminded that it isn’t how old you are when you start your journey, or even why you start, it is important that you just start! Baby steps girl, baby steps!
So am I over my writer’s block with this blog post? Maybe. Truth be told though, you don’t have to be a writer to experience the same intense lack of ideas, motivation, and the overwhelming feelings of helplessness. It happens everyday to all of us in some small way. Picture it, your driving to the same old lack luster job, and you’re sitting in traffic, listening to Octane, Drowning Pool is on, Let the Bodies Hit the Floor, and you can’t find one fucking reason why you shouldn’t drive your car right off the bridge, just for the sake, if nothing else, than the sheer adrenaline rush to just feel. Or, you are doing the laundry, spritzing stain remover on grass stains, and as you’re throwing in the Tide pod, you can’t imagine, staring down yet another load of laundry, and why you shouldn’t be doing anything else, but another load of laundry.
You have ideas, dreams, goals, shit to do….and most assuredly, laundry isn’t high up there on that fucking list, but there you are, slaying those grass stains like a boss. We all have those “blocks” writing and otherwise!
With that…. I will leave you with my wish for you….that you have more good days than bad, that you experience abundance in all that you do, and, that if you do get “writer’s block” you get to the heart of the matter, and back on track!