Writers block and this crazy mind

 Today is a day for writers block and a scattered mind. There are so many times when I sit down eager to write, only to stare at the page unable to even scrawl a word let alone string a legible sentence together. I feel I have written that very paragraph so many times that I’m starting to think I have a permanent case of déjà vu. The irony is that writing about one’s inability to write helps to get past the roadblock of writing. Having suffered with depression I am acutely aware of how powerful my mind can be. When it’s not running away with existential quandaries or being an outright dick it does have its uses. Right now I feel I must continue to scribble away for fear that I’ll lose my focus and end up with a half written, crazy post. Recently I have taken to writing a short story when on break from work. This has had two effects. One is that it acts as a form of meditation where I watch ink flow from my Lamy (a budget one, not the top end) onto paper. I’m often not caring to think too long about the words, but instead just letting the hand do the writing. In some ways I feel detached from it all, not a part of what is happening on the end of my hand (steady now). Now I mustn’t think too long on that even for fear of losing this flow. The second effect is a distraction from the real, the ability to finally put my daydreaming skills to good use. It relaxes me to write some fiction about dragons, paranoid soldiers and magical bakers. At this moment in life and perhaps for the last couple of years I have felt a certain lack of excitement and interest in life. This is both good and bad. It is good because I’m generally unaffected when people all about me are losing their heads (thank you Kipling). I am less affected by the black dog a.k.a the big bad wolf, a.k.a fucking depression. I can look at moments of “existential quandary” and not end up down a hole of negative thinking and mental lambasting. It is bad because I feel I have used up my excitement as though it is a squeezy mojo ketchup bottle. One that I have squirted all over the boredom of my younger life in order to make it taste more interesting. I think back to my teenage years of drinking, excitement and depression like a cocktail that you think is a great idea at the time, but later realise was probably burning your insides out and destroying you. I wonder if I used up my allotment of excitement with late night boozing and became old and cynical too soon in life. Did I take the 1am Jaeger shot toast of “I’m not here for a long time, I’m here for a good time” too seriously? As a result I am now without fucks for a good many things. I used to care about a lot, be well read in news and current affairs, but now it’s an effort to put the toaster on. Recently Catherine and I went to New Zealand to run a trail marathon with our parents joining us to support. The race was across land not normally open to the public between Lake Wanaka and Arrowtown. The scenery along the route was breathtaking with green and brown hills surrounding us, streams crossing our path and nobody to be seen for miles around. I was happy for the times when I needed to walk, so that I could soak up the tranquility and really feel at peace. For me the quiet of nature is preferred to the excitement of life. Perhaps losing my excitement for material things or transient experiences is a result of both the physiological and psychological scars of depression and working out who I am and where I love to be. Sadly for others that generally means being a hermit in a hut out in the wilderness. So many questions that this old brain has regurgitated here, but it’s helpful. So often we don’t have that quiet time to ourselves in which we can think things through and make decision on our life, our path in a rational way. Writing is that time for me because I have the attention span of a fruit fly in a mango farm. Writing brings it all to the surface and shows me how ridiculous I’m being, directs me to the things that are important and should be the pieces of my life I give a fuck about. Maybe they have become less over the years but I’ve grown to understand better what they are. To be continued... 

  • Tom Alfry Writer

©2017 by Tom Alfry. Proudly created with Wix.com