When I am battling writer’s block, I surround myself with all types of creativity. I read, I listen, and I watch. It is the inspiration of others that allows me find my own. – Ash
As a writer, I sometimes lose my direction. Everything becomes inside. When I start to feel that way, I go outside. I run straight into the arms of Mother Nature and she sets the scene for me. – Ash
I went for a walk last night and did something I don’t think I have done in a long time, and that was say…out loud, that “I’m Thankful!” Thankful for seeing another gorgeous sunset. Thankful for the crisp cool air that I was breathing, the sounds of birds in the distance, the hilltops, the shoreline, the waves, the paths I was taking, thankful for my family, my friends, and, most importantly, thankful for being there in the moment. You know what happened when I did that? Well, an overwhelming sense of genuine happiness that’s what. I felt awesome, I really did. I could immediately feel a rush of endorphins running through my veins, my pulse raced, and my lungs filled to capacity. It was truly great to be alive.
Far too many times in my life have I conceded to the bad things that happen to me. Things that go wrong, things I don’t have. Things I think I need or want. Too many times have I allowed those feelings to consume me. But, almost never do I take the time enough to be thankful for what I do have in my life. At least I don’t catch myself doing it as much as I go off on the negative things and allow them to fester and linger. It seems the negative gets way more stage time. So, last night on that brisk stroll, I must have had some sort of awakening, because as I was taking in all that fresh September air with a slight tinge of salt, I realized how being that way was robbing me of my happiness once again. Robbing me of right now. I hate feeling that way, with a passion. Only, when I start to recognize it, I’m already stuck in a glass prism and can’t escape. I become a functional zombie going through the motions forgetting what matters to me, like doing this, like writing.
Most of you have probably noticed how scarce it’s been around here lately. I even got called out a few weeks ago for it by a fellow blogger. It’s true, my posts have been few and far between and a little empty in a sense. Sure, I had intent and purpose when I posted them, but it’s not the Ash you or I are used to. Let’s be honest, I checked out. Don’t worry, I’ve given myself a good going over for it many times and this entry is my sorry to you. Sorry for ghosting a bit. It’s still a crazy 2020, for me at least. A part of me has become shredded with holes from the emotional bullets of traversing a new ever-changing world. Enduring this pandemic has forced me to fight some sort of battle, new ones for sure, almost everyday. It’s exhausting. Most days, I bring a good fight, but, I’m human as well, there have been days where I just wanted to tap out. Usually, when that happens, the only thing that can snap me out of the funk is writing. So far, it’s pulling me from the clouds of doubt. Keep going, Ash.
OK, about now, you’re most likely wanting me to give you the what’s up? Why so grim? What’s the matter? Earth to Ash, where have you been? Well, let’s see, in the last few months, I have lost my job, had to move residences, had a fire at the new home, Poppy, our dog, had surgery, my mom had a heart issue and literally had surgery yesterday, and about two weeks ago, my spouse and I almost hit a moose while travelling on a pitch dark highway toward home. The latter almost being responsible for Earth to Ash becoming Heaven to Ash. No joke. It was crazy and a moment where you feel like God must have had taken the wheel. Mere seconds and it could had been game over I swear. Moose are extremely common around here on our highways, but in all my years, I have never come so close. It took a couple days to shake it off to be honest. At the same time there’s also a part of me that thinks that event was the shake I needed. To make me realize that at any moment things can go south, and then what? What is all the worrying going to do? Nothing, so stop doing it, Ash. I remember telling myself those very words the next morning walking the dog. I realized the universe speaks to us sometimes, I guess I have to start listening more carefully. And, use my high beams more efficiently.
Now, with that clump of misfortune and morbid dialogue behind me, I want to confirm to you all that I am doing fine. The job, I do have to admit that that one was hard to swallow. It came unexpected and I guess the anxieties stem from the fact that it’s a COVID world out there and I need to find a new job. Though, I’m optimistic and trying my best to take deep breaths in finding my way back to the workforce. The fire. The fire was indeed dramatic. All I remember was coming down stairs half asleep, trying to figure out what was going on and at the same time swiftly grabbing the watercooler bottle by the front door and shaking it violently on the fire in nothing only my underwear. That visual aside and all damages assessed, it was ultimately minimal with a smidge of that was scary. As for Poppy, our dog, she went through a Spay surgery. It was delayed because of COVID and needed to be done. Pun intended. She was super throughout the whole process and she’s back to being the little Popstar she’s always been. The moose thing though, that was a eye-opener, literally! It was sooo close. Listen, no word of a lie, strike me down as I type this. I would say only a few short minutes from the incident, I was legit thinking…that if we did hit a moose, my reaction, if I had one, would be to quickly pull my fiance head down into my crotch. No, mind out of gutter please. The reason being is as when a thousand pound animal such as a moose comes crashing across a very low profile vehicle like ours, someone is destined to be paralyzed or worse, decapitated. If that were to be the case, I’d rather it be me. I know, why were you thinking that, Ash? Morbid thinking much? I have no idea why, it was really dark and I was off in my own head somewhere. But, like I said, ninety seconds later, Boom! Mr. Moose. Running on the highway from the left. I was lucky enough to see the flickering of legs against the light of my head lamps. Saw that, then looked up slightly and Holy Sh*t! MOOSE! God, Nan in heaven, Pop in heaven, I don’t really know who, but someone other than me took that wheel, we avoid. Happened faster than I typed the word moose. It was truly an insane two or three seconds which were went by like extreme slow-motion. It was like God saying, nah, not yet, this guys has more to say. If he ever gets backs to writing that is.
Speaking of God, Ahem! Oh my God! I finished a post. I can’t believe I got this entry out of me. It would amaze you how many times I have tried these past few weeks. Now, it’s done and I can’t help but feel even more awesome. See, life is good. Friends, these last couple months have really induced a horrible bout of block which has been extremely tough to break through. Sorry again for not letting you in on my struggles. I hope you understand and I hope you continue to be the ears to my voice. I can’t say enough how much your loyalty means to me. Thanks for continuing to drop by for a read and to catch up on Earth to Ash. I’ve missed this exchange terribly. There’s also blogging friends I want to tip my hat to as well. I need to virtually drop by and say hello too, it’s overdue. There’s so much to celebrate when I think about it. One thing in particular, and a good way to end this post, mentioning my mom’s heart issue, she was successful yesterday with her surgery. So, she’s now on the mend and ready to face the next challenge thrown at her. She’s a real trooper, my mother, she has MS, and because of that, she’s has complications stemming from challenges living with such a horrible disease. Although, there’s nothing that can beat her or keep that woman down, there is too might fight in her, and it’s exactly where I get it from. Life is very good because she’s in it.
Before I go, I want to say one more time how much I appreciate you, all of you. You keep coming back day after day and I’m forever and ever grateful. I hope you’re well, I hope your families are safe, and I hope life is good for you.
Take care everyone, and keep being you!!!
Continue reading “Ash, And I Will Tell!”
Writer’s block is like being bound by self-doubt and gagged with your own crumpled up bits of creativity. But, take my advice, you won’t free the whole story, if you don’t start loosening the first words. – Ash
I’ve had it with this mind hazy, foggy, jumbled thought mode. I’m just going to write my way out of this horrible bout of block. Damn you, internal creative struggle…damn you! Yes, I know, I did manage to get a few posts out of my system, but that was merely to keep my keyboard fingers out of the quicksand. Do you know what I mean? Anyway, enough of that. Besides, I’m an idiot because all I had to do to get out of this funk was to dust off a post I’ve already been working on. Such as follows.
Last week, I was doing my regular thing here on WordPress. I responded to a couple of comments, acknowledged a few likes and then, began to check out a few blogs. Clicking first on one of my favs. About a minute in, while reading one of their most recent entries which was about a particular award. All of a sudden, boom! “The Brainstormer Award”, and yours truly…the winner. Yessiree, looks like Earth to Ash gets another feather in the old blogging hat. And, it’s all thanks to my dear friend, floatinggold. The person responsible for my shiny new award. You know what? This is just the inspirational kick in the ass I needed to get back on track and to help clear myself of this frustrating head fog.
So, who doesn’t like a pat on the back? It can turn someone’s day completely around in my opinion. That’s how this award hit me first. It was like a great big high five between bloggers. You know, I don’t really talk too much about blogging outside of writing in my own. I don’t tend to share that about myself unless I know the person is genuinely interested. You can tell pretty quickly. Writing has always been my thing, and I guess I protect it in a way. Though, when I do get the left field compliment to something I wrote or my blog in general, well, that for me is the biggest payoff of all. Instant smile maker.
A million and one thanks floatinggold for giving me such high praise and for continuing to be a part of team Earth to Ash. Over the years you’ve always been one of my biggest supporters. Someone who I have grown to depend on for positive critique and genuine in your face feedback. Post after post, I can 100% count on you to give it to me straight and because of that, I’ve become a better writer. I mean that, I really do. Thanks, floatinggold for The Brainstormer Award, and indirectly, thank you for getting me through writer’s block, and last but least, thank you for being a friend.
Cue the Golden Girls Theme Song!!!
“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.” ― Charles Bukowski
“The wonderful thing about writing is that there is always a blank page waiting. The terrifying thing about writing is that there is always a blank page waiting.” ― J.K. Rowling
I’ve done it again. I go around and brag about how great I’ve been doing lately with the momentum of my writing. And, all of a sudden…WALL!!! I must have spent two or three hours last night staring at a blank page. It’s crazy because Friday nights are usually one of my more creative nights. Well, not the case. Nope, last night I kept popping open my laptop, writing a few sentences and quickly finding myself backspacing until a little demon cursor danced once more in constant mockery. Nothing was firing, everything I wrote seemed way too forced. After several failed attempts, I finally gave in and went into some Youtube wormhole.
It’s Tuesday, I’m sitting here on my lunch hour from work, listening to Mulgrid Miller, feeling all posty. The only thing is, I got nothing, nada, zilch, I’m blocked, just staring at a blinking cursor and a slew of material sitting dormant in my drafts. My mind has been mush for a few days now, nothings been firing and I’m caught in a bit of a funk. I have been struggling with my creativity from a poetry perspective as well, comes with the territory and I hate it. Lately, I’ve been primed and ready to change the world only to fall into some YouTube wormhole or slap my laptop closed after immediately becoming void of thought.
I’m literally doing the same thing in the above picture right now. Some time ago I wrote about the importance of just writing, my post Just Write was basically a way for me to get through a similar stint of writers’ block, so after taking a look at my drafts I realize that I have so many thoughts that still sit stagnate, still not posted. I know, I know, writing about not writing is cheating but hey, don’t hate me for just going with it.
I read a post yesterday by J. A. Allen that talked about how hard it is to fit writing into your everyday lifestyle. She wrote about the fact that she has a full-time job, kids, and loads of other responsibilities that take precedence over her writing. Her post kind of resonated with me and my own struggle with fitting writing into my everyday. It’s hard, it’s a challenge indeed, then, when you finally get an opportunity to write, boom, you hit a wall.
For me, it all starts with a draft, it starts with that initial thought that hits me. Sometimes I know right away that I am on to something, other times though, there’s something just not right about it. I need to “feel that draft”. I’m sure my writer friends can relate, I bet there’s a draft that’s sitting there right now that never seems to be good enough to let go of, am I correct? Are you like me? Like an elementary kid unveiling a class project, twisting my foot looking down at the ground before I feel its good enough to say goodbye to.
It’s all part of the process of writing I guess, I started this post staring aimlessly at a bunch of unfinished thoughts, now because of that I got something out of me, something posted. I hope that I keep the momentum going, just hitting the publish button was gratifying in itself knowing that I am slowly shaking off this fog. What’s important is that I don’t stop, just keep on keeping on, I hope that just like that post that I read from J. A. Allen, Split Ends and House Flies, you will find some sort of inspiration and realize that those thoughts that have taken up what looks like permanent residency in your drafts could be for you, that next great post. Take another look, go on, maybe this time you’ll feel that draft.