mjj (flemmings) wrote,

I've been suffering an attack of Silence. I get them every so often- have for decades, only in uni it was in regards to letters and now it's in regards to fic (and email and reviews and blogs and all that, but mostly it's about not-ficcing.)

Silence is very persuasive. It reinforces itself. The more Silent you are the more likely you'll stay Silent; the longer you stay Silent the less likely you are to break it, and the more inclined to go play Yukon solitaire instead of writing. I'm a fan of the more usual silence, just in a general way. I don't like having music playing in the background, I classify most noise as din, I can't function if a TV is on anywhere near me. That may be why I don't fight Silence tooth and nail when it starts, but slip into it as something natural, even though I vaguely sense it's not desirable.

And of course it's not desirable at all. It ranks up there with moderately severe hayfever in making one scratchy and unhappy and ill at ease in one's skin. It makes everything else look difficult and too much trouble as well- bills, vacuuming, income tax, laundry. I welcome having to go to work because it breaks the monotony of being me at home. (I am passionately grateful that my work is not merely necessary but fun. How does anyone manage a desk job, I often wonder.)

But I only know what awful things Silence is doing to me if I sit down and make myself write; and then, if I'm lucky, the ice shifts and suddenly I see that clear passage of water ahead of me and the boat starts to move, jerkily perhaps, but at least I'm under way again and I think Oh yeah right this is how I'm supposed to feel. The sun shines and all sorts of things become possible.

If I'm not lucky, of course, it's just a slog through the hardening floes and so much easier to go play solitaire instead, than churn out this crap that isn't going anywhere and that I'm not interested in anyway so why am I doing it when I could be playing solitaire on and on and on. That one I don't know how to get over, because yeah, if it's too much trouble to tell a story why tell it? And I suppose the only answer is, Because if I don't write this I'll never know what happens in it, and something wonderful might happen but I won't know if I don't write it. Hope, I suppose, is why I keep writing. Hope sometimes gets like margarine scraped over bread, a bit too thin for sustenance, but until and unless one of those divine intervals of inspiration and infatuation descends, it's all one has.

(I will mention as a total non sequitur that my icon is the background to Hiroshige's woodblock print Foxfires at Oji, of which I actually own a copy. In many of the printings the little group of houses behind the foxes meeting on New Year's Eve is invisible, but not on the one I have. I cherish it for that reason.)
Tags: writing-moan
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