- Books, Literature, and Writing
If You Can’t Say Anything Nice …
I’ve had another bout of writer’s block, or at least that’s what I thought it was. I pondered this situation, reading others stories and poetry and all it did was make me even more sure that I have nothing worth writing about.
I don’t write about what I don’t know. I am useless as a commentator on politics or religion because, you should never bring a knife to a gun fight and I don’t believe in religion, I believe in God. I very seldom even read anything political because if the story doesn’t turn my stomach, the responses inevitably do.
I turned sixty on the eighteenth of October and having lived this long you’d think one would just be a fountain of wisdom. Nope. I know what works for me and what doesn’t but there’s no point in telling someone else about it because every human being and situation is unique. It took me fifty-eight years to figure that one out as I was always giving advice, and it was seldom asked for and even less often followed, which drove me to the brink. So now I try very hard to manage me, my time here and how I let things outside of my control affect me.
I did have one great revelation while I was doing all of that pondering. I dress in what suits me, usually blue jeans and a t-shirt or if I’m dressing up, a blouse or sweater. I have other clothes but they simply hang in the closet for “just in case moments” which I’ve had none of in over fifteen years or better. I seldom put on make-up anymore, not because I don’t think it helps and Lord knows anything you can do to improve on a sixty year old face probably should be implemented … I just feel as if it’s such a bother most of the time. Point being, within reason, I pretty much do as I please. I try not to step on anyone’s toes and try to avoid people and situations where mine will be trod upon. I choose my battles very carefully, guided by the amount of energy I’m going to have to expend to participate, not whether I’ll win or lose.
So, what was my great revelation? It was this, I’m never going to be able to write like Saddle Rider, 50 Caliber, The Great Shytinsky or Qudsia Pervez, Genna East or any of the other writers too numerous to mention whom I admire so very much. Yet each time I’ve sat down to write lately, that is exactly what has kept me hitting the delete key and closing Word without saving.
There’s an old saying, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” I quote it in its entirety for the younger readers as I’m convinced my generation has not done a sufficient job of passing down using good manners. Most people of my generation were taught them, if not by example then by force, but taught still. I had somehow maladapted this into my desire to write. If I could not turn a phrase, describe a scene or recount a spectacular event, in a manner similar to my favorite writers, then I could not write … and should not.
I have an annoying old habit of self imposing rules that I would never expect anyone else to follow and I had done it again. Of course I will never be able to write like any of these people. Our life experiences and circumstances are dissimilar and we perceive things in our own unique ways. So, the next time I sit down to write, with something to say, I’m going to keep my fingers off the delete key and publish it. It will serve to prime the well and with any luck, I’ll find it has not run dry after all.