Friday, July 31, 2015

Do you 'suffer' from writer's block? by Odilia Rivera-Santos

There is no need to mourn those days when writing is in the foreground. IT is like a leopard held back by a well-groomed trainer -- the strength, power and agility ready at the swoop of the trainer's arm. Suffering is such a part of the Artist's backstory that comfortable people crave a bit of sympathy... 

Baby got backstory?
You worked on an oil rig, someone stole your laundry, you broke your key off in the lock, you dated an exact replica of your mother, you dated an exact replica of your father, an eighty-year-old beat you in a race, you lost your new water bottle at the gym, you dropped your phone on the subway tracks, you forgot to mind your business, there was no ring in the box just in the apartment in which you sparred, etc.
Every writer has at least one really good, dramatic backstory and this is a theme we can use as a unifying thread sewn through all our work.... a profound authenticity that bespeaks of a memory. Leaving out the particulars gives the re-telling legs and the strength to leap at the swoop of my arm or yours if you're writing. 
This colossal salt lick of a memory we return to when we're low or low on creativity and intellectual electrolytes is everpresent. My salt lick is the journey from there to here, a gray, dark gray, medium gray void --- devoid of green and the closing of that exit wound. 

"As the curtain slowly rose, I had the feeling that throughout the ages man had always been mysteriously stilled by this brief moment which preludes the spectacle."
- Henry Miller (On Writing)

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