I have nothing to say, it seems. Oh, I am overflowing with ideas as soon as I turn the computer off, but as soon as I sit down to put those ideas onto the screen, my brain goes blank.
This isn't like me. I always have things to say. Too many things, usually. And I'm hardly one to shy away from controversy, or to jump in to play devil's advocate or mediate.
This utter inability to put words to screen is a bit disconcerting. Especially because I can open a file of some fiction and fall into as easily as I can fall into a bed at the end of the day. Maybe even easier.
I can hear my fictional character of Trevor Wolff scoffing at me, a cigarette dangling from his lip in his best James Dean imitation. "The problem," he says with a drawl, "is that you're undisciplined lately. Look at you. Write two sentences here and then flip to another window. You're checking your feed reader, you're surfing blogs. And then you whine about having nothing to say!"
He is, of course, right. As he is right when he adds on the part about me being full of it, too. It's a question of discipline. Isn't it?
It is true that there's actually too much to keep up with. My feed reader regularly has over 100 items waiting for me. My network of fellow bloggers grows by the day, and everyone wants me to notice them, just as I want them to notice me.
I love it, I do. I have always been a bit of a loner, and this network makes me feel more connected to people than I ever have been in my life. I've found that they inspire me as I sit down to write.
It's weird; you'd think that there'd be performance anxiety or fear that they'd hate what I write next. Certainly, when no one commented on a recent post within the first few hours of it being posted, I was worried I'd offended. Then again, I was writing about my fictional band's early road trip, the morning after a late-night Mexican dinner. Bodily functions are always a dicey affair, one I usually steer clear of.
I was in my late twenties when I said to a friend, "I've just realized I'm a competitive person." I'd never thought about it; how can a virtual hermit be competitive? With who?
Her response went along the lines of, "What rock have you been living under?"
That competitive nature saves me from the typical writerly anxiety and instead pushes me to challenge myself. To constantly raise my own bar and expand the scope of my imagination.
So maybe, I ought to tell Trevor, what I'm really doing isn't avoiding anything. Maybe I'm working as I surf the Net and visit my friends' blogs, letting my inner voice burble along until I'm finally ready to put words to page.
Trevor's not buying it, but what does he know? He's not real anyway.