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the end of the line?

thanks for ruining my life from beyond the grave
i was watching a documentary earlier about iconic 80s teen film director john hughes and i saw a quote from an interview he did in 1999, the kind of thing that every writer hates to see. basically, he was talking about how he tapped into something during his highly prolific days making films in the mid-eighties and that he had been trying ever since to do that again.

no one needs to know that.

as a writer who's been finding it ridiculously difficult to get any writing done [this place aside and even then, i couldn't get my addled head together enough to do my weekly "friday favourites" yesterday], i do not want to know that people have fourteen year dry spells. i do not want to know that it is possible to have a really creative part of your life, where the words just come pouring out of you and that it can just stop. in fact, the only thing that keeps me from beating myself over the head with the cast iron kali statue that sits on my desk is the idea that my lack of creativity is a temporary thing, a combination of distraction and anxiety that will pass with time as it has always done.

you understand? i need to believe that it's going to pass or i'm going to make a bloody, brainy mess everywhere.



i don't know how many writers out there have stopped simply because their artistic gift has dried up. you know why i don't know? because i have never wanted to know. i do not want to know that it's possible for that to get shut off, especially not when i'm in a slump, feeling creatively vulnerable. for all i know, there could be hundreds of writers out there who just had to stop because their talent shriveled like stuff left at the back of the refrigerator. i hope there aren't. but a part of me needs to believe that such a thing just isn't possible, because if it can happen to one person, surely, it could happen to me.

too horrible to be contemplated.

i'm glad that i saw this toxic quote the day after i did some work on "a definable moment in time" [which is not being written "live", exactly, although at the rate i'm going, i'll catch up to myself and then i'll have something new to panic about], because at least i can sort of say that i worked on something. i didn't finish anything, of course, but i kind of know where i'm going with that, so it sort of counts.

i do sort of wish that if i had to be exposed to that quote, it hadn't come the week that i had the revelation that i don't have a previously unpublished short story of between 1,200 and 1,500 words to submit to a contest i'd really like to enter, at least not one that i think of as good enough caliber. so now i have to choose between submitting something that's not my absolute best or trying very deliberately to write a story with a ridiculously narrow word count allowance from scratch in the hopes that somehow, it comes out better than stuff i was doing when i wasn't feeling quite so retarded. [note :: before you get all uppity about me using that word, consider that i've actually used it in its correct way- meaning to be slowed or impeded, which is exactly how my brain has felt lately. in fact, i actually just typed "later" instead of "lately" for no reason other than that i'm retarded.]

so now, every time i think back on hughes' oeuvre, films that helped shape my adolescence, there's going to be a part of me that feels the fear. the fear that one's creative voice can be silenced, even when one is still eager to speak. please feel free to jump in and reassure me that it can't happen.

[the part of me that's not being narcissistic and angst-y would like to encourage you to check out the documentary "don't you forget about me", which is a love letter from a group of young film-makers to hughes and includes interviews both with his contemporaries and latter-day fans as the crew takes a road trip to try and interview him at his home in 2008.]

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