I have nothing to say here. This is only an attempt to break a horrible, inactive writing streak…

I haven’t sat down to write in a while. I haven’t been able to find the words. They just haven’t been there lately. I’ve had nothing to say and I don’t know why. And, well, this is my attempt to break that streak. Bear with me. I don’t know where this may lead…

It’s not that I have been lazy. I keep a pretty rigorous schedule with most things in my life, writing usually being one of them. But, again, lately, I just haven’t had anything to say.

ANYTHING. NOTHING. NADA. ZIP.

And, again, I don’t know why.

As I write this now, and as I force to the forefront of my consciousness, reflection upon why, I still don’t know why. It’s as if my brain just hasn’t made connections lately. Not in the world around me, not in the people, not in nature, not in anything.

I’ve never felt this “blank” before, if you will, when it comes to writing. And, as I continue to think of it now, I don’t think there exists anything, any one thing even, causing this. It’s just what is lately.

I have nothing, for no reason, to say.

And, as a writer, as you can imagine, it’s not a great place to be. I love writing. I love how challenging and how raw it is. I love words, simply, put together, even if the words today aren’t. I love emotions from those words. I love reactions to those words; mine and the readers. I love messing up, becoming frustrated by it, and trying again. I love thinking I’m done, to only catch myself fooling myself, and then forcing myself to start over, to keep on, to earn it. I love writing, and I love all that comes with it. There’s more there, but no need to push it more. If you write, then you know.

Anyways, even now, as I continue on with this unguided attempt, I’m still having trouble finding the words. I don’t like this as I write it, even. I hate even the way it sounds. But, I do like the feeling of my fingers, typing away. The noise of the keys. They sound confident in themselves, though I know their conductor to be not. Not in these words. Not in this attempt. But, whatever. Confidence at times is overrated. Sometimes, you just have to show up and try, confident or not. Or whatever other driving force you call it, or not; Confident; Courageous; Impassioned; Angry; Sad; Stupid; Whatever. Sometimes, the feelings don’t matter. You just have to show up. And, again, that’s what this is. I’m just attempting to show up today.

I think I may have found something here. Isn’t that the case with life. Couldn’t that be argued. That your feelings don’t matter. At least not all the time. Because, no matter what, you just have to show up. You have to wake up, everyday that you are given, and you have to show up. For yourself, for others. For your craft, your vision. For anything. For everything. Even if you feel that you can’t and that you won’t, you’re only fooling yourself, because you will, no matter how you feel about it. You still must wake up and face life. There’s no hiding from that. For now, its not going anywhere, and neither are you. You must show up. You will show up. You have no choice in that.

Don’t be narrow minded here. I’m not talking about showing up to work, or to class, or to anything given a specific place or goal. I’m talking about showing up for it all. For whatever life is, that moment. Every moment. Again, YOU CAN’T HIDE FROM THIS. Even if you tried, where would you go? Is your mind not still with you? Is your body not still intact? Hell, even drugs can’t take this away. Life is the force of it all. The provider. The creator. The do all be all, of it all. I don’t mean to get too grim here, but maybe even death doesn’t provide retreat. Who knows. I don’t know. And, I won’t act as if I do. All I’m saying here is, you’ve got to show up. You will show up, no matter how you feel, prepared or not, ready or not, whatever or not. You will show up. There’s no hiding from life.

Showing up by choice does feel better, though. Even now, I still hate this piece. I hate the words I’ve thrown together. I hate my lack of direction here. I still hate the way it sounds. But, I chose to show up, and I chose to try, and I chose to stick with the attempt. And, for that, because of that, I feel better. I feel here.

I’m going to post this, unedited. I will not go back and change anything about it. Not a word. Again, today, this was my attempt at showing up, and it serves as proof to myself that I did. Unguided. Unconfident. Without excitement or anything to say, even. But, I showed up. I tried. And, again, I feel better for having done so.

P.S.

An interesting practice for any of you self-proclaimed writers out there. Just show up. Write whatever. Even if it sucks. Even if you hate every word. Could be an interesting practice for anyone attempting anything out there, really. Just show up. Try. Even if it sucks. The act of doing is a very powerful thing, no matter the outcome.

Behind That Door

There’s so many things in my life that repeat.

Maybe for yours, the same.

I’ve been there before.

I’ve felt that way.

I’ve seen where this leads.

I’ve experienced that pain.

Maybe for you, the same.

I know what’s behind that door, but I keep opening it.

Most moments I know I shouldn’t. That could be a fool. But it only takes one.

I usually fall for that moment.

No matter how much thought, how much hesitation. I fall for that moment.

I open it again.

Sometimes its me knocking on the door. It’s not always answered. It’s not always ignored, either.

Other times I hear the knocking. Sometimes I’ll answer. Other times I wont. I’ll ignore it.

But again, it only takes one. One fool. One moment. And, that door’s open again.

And, I know what’s behind that door, but its open again.

It’s not all bad, though. It’s not all good, either.

It’s not all the same. It’s not all different, I’ll admit.

The first step back tends to be different. The first gaze makes it all seem foreign.

I think we want it to be. I believe we need it to be.

Then, you notice what hasn’t changed. Not everything does. Most of it, yes. But, not everything.

I believe we want it to be. No, I think we need it to be.

It’s not about the changes, though. It’s not about the things which remain the same, either.

I don’t know what its about. I’m tired of guessing. Something invites you in, though. It is welcoming.

There is a home to it.

And you fall for it.

Maybe home is what its about. At least a sense of it.

A gypsy’s mind yearns for that, too.

A traveler’s body.

A sailor’s devotion.

An artist’s attempt.

A carney’s hidden sorrow.

A soldier’s sacrifice.

All the same. They yearn for that, too.

At least a sense of it.

But, I know what’s behind that door, and its open again.

It’s not that, though.

It’s not that, anymore.

It’s not even yesterday, anymore.

Not yet tomorrow, but, not even…

this…

… anymore.

This becomes that.

Now its not even that, anymore.

I’m not even me, anymore.

Not the me from before.

Maybe a sense of it.

Maybe for you, the same.

Maybe a sense of it.

That could be a fool.

So much uncertainty.

But, I know whats behind that door.

That could be a fool, too.

No.

I know whats behind that door.

But, there’s those moments again when I don’t.

Maybe I’ve forgotten. Maybe I’ve wanted to have forgotten. Maybe I honestly don’t know anymore. Maybe its all a lie. Maybe I’ve lied to myself. Been lied to, maybe.

Maybe we all have.

Maybe we all do.

No.

I know whats behind that door. But, its open again.

But, I’m not asking why no more.

No expectations.

No thought of how come. No wonder of what if.

They come back around, I’ll admit.

But, I know them now. I know their presence and I know their stay, and I know neither are very long. Not anymore. Not as long as before.

I never expected to pass through here again.

I’ve learned that too; I’ve learned that to be a fool.

I was just looking for what was looking for me.

No. That’s a fool. I was looking for anything.

I never expected to pass through here again, though.

But, here I am.

Again.

The first step, different. The first gaze, foreign.

I know what’s behind that door. Do I, though?

There are similarities, though. And, there are differences, too.

I know what’s behind that door, but this one?

I’ve been there before, but not here.

I’ve felt that way, but not this.

I’ve seen where this leads, but not end.

I’ve experienced that pain, and I will again.

Never have I felt like this before, though.

And, never will I again. Not exactly like this. No, not ever again.

Not exactly like this.

There is no door. The whole damn thing a fool.

There’s only this. That from before. And then, maybe, there’s more.

We’re all exposed to it.

Subjected, rather.

Behind that door, no longer I hide.

My mind no longer blind.

Blocked.

Closed.

Shut.

That could be fool. It only takes one.

There is no door, though.

There’s only this. That from before. And then, maybe, there’s more.

Behind that door, from my mind, no longer I hide.

The Situation and the Story

How did you come across the book?

… I have no idea! I don’t remember. Probably… graduate school? I may of come across it… oh, you know what… OK… I remember, sorry! This was recommended to me by Rob Spillman who’s one of the editors at Tin House News, also a sometimes professor at Columbia University in the writing program.

So far, what perspective have you gained from this book?

Ooh! Um… I feel like I have to pull my notes out! One of the biggest takeaways for me, because this is a book about essay and memoir, its about personal narrative, and one of the biggest takeaways for me is that an essay is exploring a topic through the lens of the narrator’s persona, whereas a memoir is exploring the narrator’s persona through different topics outside the narrator. And so, that really gave me a lot of perspective on my own writing and in ways that I could kind of come at the self obliquely through other topics.

Would you recommend it, and if so, to who and why?

I would recommend it to somebody who is probably a later writing student, or an experienced writer. The first time I read it, it went over my head a little bit, and so, I’m not sure that it would be helpful for many people, but, there is a great reading list kind of worked into it because she goes through all of these different examples of essays and memoir and personal narrative in the book. But, I’d probably save it for somebody who’s stuck on their current writing project.

Infinite Jest

How did you come across the book?

I actually heard of the writer himself first from a friend of mine. He recommended to me a commencement speech from the same author called ‘This is Water’, and after reading that I decided to look at a couple of his fictional works because I prefer fiction over nonfiction. So, I read his first novel, which was ‘The Broom of the System‘, and umm… because I kind of liked his style I decided to go on to this one because it’s known as his magnum opus, and so… a lot of people sing high praises for it, but a lot of people also kind of criticize it for being so lengthy and just kind of like rambling, but I think that it will be an interesting read.

So far, what perspective have you gained from this book?

I mean the thing is… more than a perspective from the book… like from the information from within the book, I think it’s teaching me something about being a reader, and I think it’s… it’s making me realize just how, I guess… how much more I have to read, or how much more I have to experience through reading itself, because… it’s like I’m reading the book, and I’m like going right to the dictionary because I’m like, “Oh, I don’t know what this means, I don’t know what this means!”, I think that just… it’s also kind of… it’s kind of really an awe-inspiring feeling knowing that there are so many writers that are just so talented. I’m actually majoring in English so I… I’m like… perhaps looking forward to publishing something in the future, but just knowing that there are geniuses out there who can use diction so freely… and such complex symbols or analogies with… ease… it just… it really humbles the reader. So, it’s teaching me a lot about just how much work I have left to do.

Would you recommend it, and if so, to who and why?

Umm… I think… so, I did say that I read a previous book of his, ‘The Broom of the System‘, but I also read a series of his essays… just really recently; it’s called ‘A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again‘. What I’ve heard from people is that… because this is quite a lengthy book, unless you’re really invested, or unless you’re really curious about the author or the book itself, I think that you’ll find it really difficult to continue reading it, because I find myself sometimes struggling through a page but I’m just like, “OK, I know what to expect from the writer”, because of his previous writings, so I’m kind of looking forward to it no matter how lengthy it is. So, I think if someone were to get into this writer, I would recommend his essays first… and then I would recommend maybe reading ‘Infinite Jest‘.