Monday, November 28, 2011

Seasonal Affective Writer's Doldrums

The Doldrums are, according to American Heritage, a region near the equator characterized by calms, light winds, and squalls. Even though I'm sitting in my red desk chair, I'm there at some border like the equator. Sails flapping, rudderless, my internal weather lacks the gusto to carry me forward. A winter slough. Not depression, not grief, not existential angst, just feeling dull. What to do? What to do?

Do what I've long and often advocated for any writer in this leeward port dragging her anchor: keep the pen moving, even when what dribbles out is drivel. So for the past few days I have done my own version of free writing. I keep writing till I have three pages added to my journal, three lousy pages, a la Ann Lamott's shitty first drafts, although these don't even deserve the label draft, unless it's the cold air that leaks into old houses. It's lonesome at sea without my images and ideas. But if I keep at it, some mental gear will re-engage and my little boat of words will chug along and arrive at a beach party on the page. See, it's beginning to move already.

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