“Sometimes the words are part of the problem.” – Witt
Back in September, I surprised myself by writing seven posts — I mean, when have I ever done that before? (Have I? I didn’t think so.) That was almost two a week for the month; practically double the old quota. Then, with that milestone reached, some sneaky part of my brain went, “Say, now that you’ve done seven in a month, what if you write the next seven in a week?” So I did that, too, and it was fun — maybe too much fun. (That is: it was fun for me, but probably more like an irritating rash for you.)
Predictably, then I started imagining what it would take to do seven in a day. Haven’t gotten there yet, but there’ve been some 24 hour spans where it seemed possible. If there’s still any wall between my momentary consciousness and what I allow to blast off into cyberspace from this launch pad these days, seven in 24 would probably finish it off for good.
Treacherous, this love is.
Check this out:
01 = 0
02 = 1
03 = 2
04 = 0
05 = 0
06 = 1
07 = 0
08 = 2
09 = 7
10 = 33
11 = 3 (to date, including this one)
So over the first eight months of the year I wrote 6 posts, none of them great. Then 7 in September; warming up. Then 33 in October — an average of more than one per day — and I’ve gotta say… I’d be like the last person to know, but a lot of them still seem really good to me. There are some I’m downright proud of. It might be my best month of writing, collapsed down to just the highlights, ever. So not just quantity. (Maybe.) [But still, let’s not piss on quantity: thirty three! Jeepers.]
It’s like something dramatic changed in August or September, and then really kicked in the afterburners last month. Hmm… What oh what could it be? Nah… I got nothin’.
And it feels like this is still kind of the new, steady rate. Where the heck is this thing gonna go from here? Probably plummeting back to earth, but I honestly have no idea. I mean, technically, this is the second one today. [Really, I’m so sorry to bother you like this. I’ve even decided to unplug the ‘auto-post to facebook’ widget from wordpress… It’s just too much to blast out into the world like that. It’s RSS or sneakernet or ‘refresh it on your own pace’, now.)
I think part of the initial motivation, once I got back on the horse, was simply to mess with Witt, my #1 fan, who feels obliged to read everything I write and who almost always sends me thoughtful, useful feedback. I don’t know why I enjoy tweaking my friends so much, but I confess that I do. Not like he needs me screwing with his mind and/or firing schedule as we round the corner into Potters’ Panic Season.
Then it became a way to do something with all those weird vampyre hours; these creaking nighttime musings; the so-early-it’s-wrong-to-call-it-morning-yet mornings. Not happening as much lately, but still does some days. I wake up, The OA’s right there waiting, and She’s got words for me. Lots of ‘em.
The near-daily blogging, composing little scraps and jotting notes and mulling on it at all hours of the day, merged into working on pots at night, too, once the heat left so that it wasn’t still ninety degrees in there at nine pm. And also hands in clay in the pre-dawn, sometimes, and even after office days — totally nuts. The two things entwined so nicely; like folklore.
Back in the days of cassette tapes (ask your parents), I used to do an annual Reawakening for Spring mix tape. It’d be a compilation of all the latest songs that were inspiring, that made me want to be creative and try things and treat life like an open ended adventure. Perhaps needless to say, this is back when my ‘job’ was still mostly to be a student. Before having a job that was a job; meaning the kind of thing that made such a mixtape a ridiculous affectation.
Anyways, this weird fall of ’17 has (is) the feeling of a Reawakening for Fall mixtape. I’ve even catalogued many of their lyrics here. So weird. I used to hate fall. Sometimes now, aside from the bone-chilling part, I even look forward to winter. At least a little. Scarves and boots aren’t all bad.
I’ve got — oh, I don’t know — three other drafts in progress here in Bear, another 15-20 typed scraps, one or two dozen of those Guest Checks — which I stopped doing as a writing assignment, because I also stopped reading that book. There hasn’t been a morning in a couple weeks where I could even stand, let alone needed, more input before I started banging out my output. Words, words, words. Then hundreds of old quotes in Evernote, other assorted papers and post-its and notebook pages in several difference caches — most of it probably outdated garbage, but some have all the way to entire posts (or outlines for them) on them. And that doesn’t count the mass that was left from my last writing software (Ulysses), which I exported and archived and haven’t looked at since. I’m sure there are some good bits there, too, but I’m hardly at a loss for more starters; outta sight, outta mind.
I had three new ideas this morning by the time I’d finished my back stretches. Wrote one of them, the other two are lingering here — this isn’t even one of them. They might make the cut, might not. It’s a problem that several times a day, I cue up a song and it seems to have enormous portent, or relevance to something else I was just writing earlier; connects to a previous thread, or makes a dumb joke or commentary on some earlier idea, or connects some new dots… Or just seems too fucking rad to let go. Like, how can I go: TS > Sting > Waterboys > Paul Westerberg > TS > The Shins all in one day, and feel like each one is a musical postcard from The Goddess, Herself?
(And that’s on a day that started like hell and almost got itself trapped in a box of my own making. That’s just after I pulled out of the pending tailspin.)
Is it taking away from making pots for the sale? Oh, hell yeah. Sure it is. But would I be making pots for the sale, if not this? No. I’m pretty sure I’d be sitting in that chair just over there, looking out the window and having all these same damn thoughts, but without the fun, the extending and branching, and with all the morose looping, instead. So.
I dunno, people.
“The work was a project of self-realization.” – Bruce Springsteen