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June 12, 2011

Thoughts in the Dark

The lights are off, except the one over the stove. The darkness outside is starting to descend, but there's still a bit of light coming through the sliding glass door. It's almost 9:30 at night and it's not pitch black. Summer is still approaching, just nine days away.

Light from the TV also shines over me, not to mention the computer monitor, its brightness bathing me with whiteness. Roxanne is on right now, but the sound is muted. I need silence, or soft music, when I write. I look up briefly and see a really young Daryl Hannah. Hard to believe this movie is more than 20 years old.

I've got a glass of chocolate milk sitting here beside me, fuel for the physical body. I've just read and commented on a few blogs, tweeted a few tweets, and kept up with the work of many of my friends. Fuel for the blogging soul.

Yet still, I sit here and think. My fingers go silent for a few moments. There's an Empire carpet commercial on now.

And I have no idea what I want to write. No words are really crossing through my brain at the moment. Did I use them all up this morning? And then those nagging feelings of self-doubt present themselves as well.

I enjoy writing, but I always find it difficult. It's the getting started part that is always my enemy. I find that, once I get on a roll, the words just kind of flow out. Sometimes in a seemingly random manner, though usually I'm able to corral them in some way. Sort of like this post, though the stream of consciousness is a bit harder to bring together.

Every once in a while, the doubt intensifies. Weeks like this past week, where I'm not able to post anything. Part of that was time, but if you have the inspiration, you'll always find the time. I just didn't have it this week. I'm always sad when I do a one-hit wonders post, and I realize that the last post on this blog was last week's one-hit wonders post. That's not very conducive to keeping readership, and it's certainly not good for my regular readers.

Sometimes, it's the one-hit wonders posts that keep me going. There has been many a Sunday morning when I've sat here goofing off, thinking that the last thing I want to do is try and be funny. I have no idea what to say.

But every time that thought crosses my mind, I eventually wave it off. I force myself to start. Because I know that if I give in on my one bit of regularity, there will be no going back. Once I stop once (unless there's a good reason, like no Internet or I'm sick, of course), it will be way too easy to say "I won't do one this week either." And it will fall by the wayside.

It's the darkness where the doubts congregate. But it's not the lack of light where they breed. It's the darkness of the mind.

But I refuse to let them stop me. I've got 630 posts on this blog. I've been doing it for two years this coming July, and I don't plan on that coming to an end anytime soon.

Just have to nip those doubts in the bud, and actually sit down and write.

Which is always the best advice, whether it's about writing or anything else.


  1. Dave..even when you were thinking you had nothing to post and no stream of consciousness hitting your Buttoned-Up Mind...well it was. I just finished doing 2 posts this weekend.Unheard of for me. Mind you I am at 1 1/2 months new to have a long way to go to catch up to you. Anyways...I was just thinking before I popped into your blog...I don't have anything rattling around in my brain right now..not even an idea of what the next one will be. Voila..and here you are..a voice in the Darkness( My newest Post was about the "Voice" being heard)and I even used the phrase Voice in the Darkness...hmmm...a little precognition going on here.

    You are just re-iterating what many are thinking...busy..not posting as much..what to post...apologies for not being visible in blogland..etc...

    I was busy with work and life and spent the whole weekend catching my friend..thank you for your words of support..I needed to hear that I am not alone out there..that the experts are busy too!

  2. I have those moments and those thoughts, also, Dave. I think that every writer and creative person does. The days of writing 3 or more posts per week on my blog seem to be a thing of the past. I have no idea if I'll ever get back to that level of productivity, or if I even want to. Right now, other issues are at the forefront of my attention and writing a blog post is a bit onerous. I feel a responsibility to my readers and myself, so I do force myself to sit down and begin. I appreciate you taking time to project such honesty with this article. I daresay it will be helpful to others who are wrestling with similar issues.

    Big hugs!


  3. It's a common problem for most writers as the well of gab runs dry and we're left to wonder how to get it going again. Left to our own devices we usually discover a topic to spur the words onward...even if the subject is Justin Beiber :). I have a dozen blogs in draft status and if things go bad hopefully I can finish one of those to present to the masses. Keep the words flowing!! David

  4. Wow, such wonderful support! It's like you all know when somebody needs help. :)

    @Ravenmyth: You are definitely not alone out there. We all go through it. Some of us have the luxury of not having to force it *too* much. For others, it's their vocation, so they don't have that option.

    In a high school class, we were supposed to keep a journal, with three entries a week. A number of times, my entry was on how I was having trouble coming up with an entry. It was quite funny.

    @Dawnie: Thanks, hon! It's funny, but sometimes the most insightful and helpful posts come out of the ones that are intended as kind of "filler." I just wanted to write something last night, and since I didn't have a topic, I wrote about not having a topic, and all of the things that go with that. It was kind of an opportunity for me to just vent a bit.

    I'm glad that it's developed into more than that, though.

    @Dave: I make enough Justin Bieber jokes in my one-hit wonders posts. I don't want to actually write about him. LOL

    I will definitely keep them flowing. Not sure exactly how often, but when they come, they will come.

    Thanks again, ladies and gentleman! You've been very helpful to me. Thank you for everything.

  5. Dave, for the record, I enjoy it when you write in this "flowing in the moment" style. I really do! I enjoy your One Hit stuff as well, but these are the posts that I connect with more and feel I can add my own thoughts more authentically (there's that word again!). :)

    ~ Dawnie

  6. I'm glad that you like these types of posts. I shall have to do more of them. :)

  7. Hey, maybe I'll live-blog my TV watching! :)


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