Writer's Blog.

I don't know about others who write blogs on a fairly regular basis, but for me, coming up with something to write about every week has become something of a task, if not a chore. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy writing my blog and at times it has even been a cathartic tool, allowing me to vent feelings that I would have previously perhaps just bottled up. It's just that, of late, as I scour my increasingly frustrated brain, I seem to be finding it more difficult to find topics to write about.
This is, in part, no doubt due to the fact that I feel I have virtually exhausted the subject which this blog is about- mental ill health and the stigma which surrounds it. Frankly, as most of the activities I undertake are to do with this subject too, I am beginning to get a little bored banging on about stigma and its pernicious effects. It could be also that many readers, after a while, begin to suffer some sort of compassion fatigue, and are, perhaps, fed up with the many appeals to their conscience which are out there- starving people in Africa, the plight of mistreated animals, sufferers of cancer. After a certain time, perhaps we all become a little inured to such appeals, desensitized simply by their apparent ubiquity, and mental health becomes just another "issue".
So, as I have nothing else to write about, perhaps I should write about the seeming inability to write, or what is also known as the peculiar phenomenon of writer's block. In this instance, though, maybe I should call it "writer's blog".
Indeed, it seems that many writers have taken to writing about not being able to write. Stephen King, for example, in both his novella, "Secret Window, Secret Garden", and the novel, "The Shining", created characters who were themselves writers and were suffering from some form of creative block. In Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation of "The Shining" I'm sure we can all remember the scene where Shelley Duvall, despite reassurances from her husband Jack Torrance that his new fictional work is going well, finds, in his absence, innumerable pages filled with only one phrase repeated over and over again- "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". Eventually Torrance, played by Jack Nicholson in the film, has a complete mental breakdown and tries to kill his wife and son. In George Orwell's novel, "Keep the Aspidistra Flying", the main character Gordon Comstock struggles to complete an epic poem. In George Gissing's "New Grub Street", writer's block is the main theme, with the character of novelist Edwin Reardon becoming completely unable to write. In Micheal Chabon's "Wonder Boys", college English professor Grady Tripp, despite claiming that he does not believe in writer's block, has been unable to finish a promised third novel after seven years. And finally, in the film "Adaptation", in a marvellous piece of postmodern self-reflexiveness, Nicolas Cage plays the screenwriter Charlie Kaufman in a film which is itself written by Charlie Kaufman, as he struggles, without much success, to complete a screen adaptation of Susan Orlean's book, "The Orchid Thief".
So, if you're stuck for something to write about, why not, as all the above have done, write about not being able to write. And as I struggle with the tyranny of the blank page, I'm beginning to ponder just exactly what my next post will  be about. I know that it's going to be witty, insightful, intelligent, entertaining and accessible, but not to the extent that it insults the reader's own intelligence. It's going to be all those things. My God, it's going to be a masterpiece of blogging. I just have to find a subject. Now, what could that be....?          

Comments

klahanie said…
Dear David,
As you may well know, I have covered the concept of writing about not being able to write. I was wondering why you did not include me in your list. Not one to self-promote, but here's an early example of me covering the very topic,
http://klahanie.blogspot.com/2007/10/bloggers-block.html

All the very best and happy writing about not writing, eh. Just remember to relax, not put pressure on yourself and have fun. I look forward, with uncontrollable enthusiasm, to your masterpiece.
Kind wishes and blank piece of paper, your way, Gary.
bazza said…
I think the danger of feeling one has to keep posting regularly is that you might feel that it's all too much and then stop altogether. You should blog firstly for yourself. If you have nothing to say - don't say it!
I used to have two or three posts ready to go at any time but now I wait a minimum of one week between posts and don't work ahead.
Have a great weekend; and relax.
Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’
dcrelief said…
I tend to agree with Bazza's statement to write firstly for yourself. Your aptly named blog, "A Day in the Life" leaves the topic world wide open. There are millions of choices you could make... whether or not it's a subject you like or dislike. "It only takes a spark to get a fire going."

Get your needs met, like: sun, food, friends... the writing will take care of itself. Vacation your mind and go to a city close by and explore. Or sit out in the late afternoon sun awaiting the breeze that will surely touch your face. Create some Dave's diversions!

I enjoyed your post. Good luck!
Dixie
David said…
Dear Gary, bazza, Dixie,
Thanks all for your good advice, along with some shameless self-promotion from you, Gary!
I shall take it all on board, breathe deeply and relax, hoping to finally produce the blogging masterpiece that I mentioned.
Of course, I wouldn't even go on blogging if it were not for all your continued support. I am humbled and thankful that you all take the time to read and comment. Well, sort of, anyway!
Wishing you all the Very Best,
David.
klahanie said…
Shameless self-promotion? Me? Never, I say, never! Although I am working very hard on being self-obsessed. And what are you doing up at this unearthly hour? What the hell am I talking about?
I'm sure you are sort of anyway, humbled by yet another comment from my remarkable self, eh....
GEM said…
I think that most of us can relate to this. Many times I have sat in front of my computer screen staring at a blank page, uninspired, with no idea what to write. On these occassions I will scour the internet, newspapers, magazines etc for something to just jump out at me. Or I will think about an event from my past. Even then I just start with a sentence with no idea how it will turn out but once I start the creative juices start to flow. It is not pre-conceived or pre-planned. I think it just takes one little thing to hook your mind and the rest just comes seemingly from nowhere.

Take Care

GEM
David said…
Dear Gary,
I must have gone back to bed just before you made this comment, but I am indeed flattered and humbled (sort of, anyway) to have now received two comments from your truly remarkable self on only one posting.
Anyway, I know you're not really a shameless self-promoter, only self-obsessed!
Thankyou, Gary, for being such a magnificent insomniac.
Best Wishes, and a good night's sleep, your way,
David.
David said…
Dear Gem,
Thanks for your comment. I thought that maybe many people who write blogs could relate to this, posting, as we do, on a regular basis.
I think the methods for a cure you mention are good ones. I'm sure they help you amd maybe I'll try them myself.
Most of my blogs seem to come from the germ of an idea at the back of my brain somewhere. Then I do a little research if needed. God bless wikipedia, eh!
With Very Best Wishes,
David.

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