Friday, November 28, 2008

Five Stupid Reasons for my Recent Writer's Block


I'm only a few months into this blogging thing and I've already broken one of the cardinal rules: Never stop blogging. My friend (Ms.) Danielle reminds her readers to write even when you can't or don't want to. But if you stuck through this dry spell of mine, you'll notice that my last post was about two weeks ago. So what caused this disruption?

I'm sure it's a number of things, some of them substantive and some just personal hangups. So in the blog 101 rule of make everything into a list, here goes:

1) Ego: Let's be real: A blog is full-on ego> the bigger the blog, the larger the ego. I probably started to over think this whole process shortly after people actually tuned in. This may sound strange or even lame, but the more attention the blog got, the harder it was to write in some ways. And positive feedback could be just as debilitating as negative sometimes. As feedback and comments would pile on, I felt I really needed to provide a reason to keep showing up. Talk about psyching yourself out. Even after all my years in media, I still get sophomore jitters. I know, get over it.

2) Proposition 8: That damn Prop 8 debate wore me out. When I wrote my original piece on this for the Huffington Post, I had no idea what I was walking in to. My piece on the blame game and finger pointing based on race and exit polls elicited the most comments I've ever received on the HuffPo and my personal blog. Not only was a firestorm brewing, but it became one of the most important and enduring debates surrounding the issue of gay marriage. After a couple weeks of reading, responding and referring, my mind and my hands cramped up. This blogging thing is a contact sport, I found out.

3) Economic meltdown: Take a look around. We're in a major economic crisis. Most Americans don't truly get the gravity of this expanding disaster because it seems to be in slow motion and the evidence is hidden on corporate and small business balance sheets, personal credit card statements and individual crisis. But in the coming weeks and months, we'll really start to see what a tangled web we've weaved. My industry (media) is coming to grips with its own existential realities with a prognosis that's difficult and bloody at best. But even as I wrap my head around that, I'm reminded about other personal stakes, such as my friend Jonathan the comedic script writer who is hunkered down in his Brooklyn bunker while Hollywood decides if it's still even buying scripts. Or ask any of your friends in real estate—commercial or residential—if they're closing any deals these days. And what about the layoffs? Prepare for the year-end bloodbath to cap an already gory year. This is beyond anything we've ever come close to living through as a modern nation and we're so not prepared for it. I can't say this doom and gloom didn't distract me from the keyboard a bit.

4) Obama won: I know, I know. It ain't over, it's just beginning. We haven't even had the inauguration and there's plenty of politics happening. And it's not like I don't have things to say about the coming Obama presidency or his cabinet selections. I just have to cop to a sudden loss of urgency, even though I know I can't rest here. Time to jump into post election mode for real.

5) Facebook: When all else fails these days, blame Facebook. Your relationship tanks: Facebook. Job performance falters: Facebook. School starts to take a back seat: Facebook. You can't muster the energy to blog after a day of poking friends: Facebook. I'm waiting for Facebook to show up in court documents as a legal defense.

Ultimately, as true as everything is above, it's all even more reason to blog. Maybe i just cleared my first of many hurdles as a so-called blogger. A public writer's block, somewhat worse than lapsing on Facebook status updates. Or maybe I just need to write while flying. For the second time in two weeks, I'm on a transcontinental flight. This time, heading back to LA on an American flight with Wi-Fi. It's a gift to have something to say and the 21st Century technology to get it out to the world. I should remember that the next time my fingers can't seem to find their way to the keys.

Photo credit: Daniel Beltsazar/iStockphoto.com

1 comment:

danielle said...

i've gone through the public writer's block and i agree it is a big hurdle. i'm glad that you're forged through it! i need to do the same ... soon. i feel your point about prop 8. and i'd rather be in the mix than not. i wonder how many more articles you cranked out on the flight back!