Getting over writer’s block. As easy as climbing a mountain.Posted: June 24, 2013
Yes, indeed. Mt. Writingsuccess. The clouds engulfing the peak create an illusion that it is smaller, more easily scaled, than it actually is. I’ve challenged this mountain before.
It bested me.
All writers start at the bottom, surrounded by the writer wannabes. All it takes is one step up the mountain to set yourself apart from them. One step. It’s actually quite easy. No need for rock climbing gear, oxygen, or warm clothing. Just taking the one step is all you need to do.
It’s all uphill from there, my friend.
I climbed beyond the one step. It took time. Effort. I penetrated the cloud cover. Had I reached the top? Hell no! I stood on a ledge and stared up, up toward the peak. So high.
I fell off the mountain. I rolled to the bottom. The fall left me broken.
For years, I stared up at where the clouds met the mountain. I tried to remember what it looked like up there. I couldn’t. Maybe it was best that way. Perhaps I should just forget.
That’s when I saw it. The goat.
Cocky little bastard was standing almost sideways up there. The goat stared at me. It trapped me in the boxes of its rectangular pupils.
“Hey!” I yelled. “Don’t you judge me, goat! Climbing mountains is easy when you have cloven hooves.”
Its bleat echoed down to me. Mocking me. Well, to hell with that jerk. I wouldn’t let him get away with it. I started climbing again, determined to get that goat. The climb was harder now. I remembered falling, and I still bore some lasting injuries from it. The goat wasn’t waiting for me, either. It leaped and scrabbled its way higher. I didn’t care. I would eat that damn goat. Raw.
I’m glad I finally fought past the writer’s block. But was that the hard part, or is the hard part really ahead, like I suspect? My skills have lay fallow, so I must relearn them. That sucks, to know I may be a worse writer now than I was years ago at the height of my game. And I can admit to myself that the height of my game wasn’t much. I have a publication in a semi-pro magazine, but that’s it, and that one was a long battle to win. But I will go on. I have to believe I can reach the same level. I have to strive to go beyond it.
My current story is a start. After several drafts and a lot of time, I can say with certainty that it is — okay. Considering it is my first “completed” effort (in quotation marks because it is a full-length story even if I’m still working on it) since the block, I’d call it remarkable. A miracle that I even finished it. But there is so much more climbing to do. I don’t even know if this story will ever be good enough in my eyes to send out to magazines. I’ve got some plot issues to fix, and they’re pretty tough bananas to peel. Might need to give them time to get ripe. Part of me fears putting the story in the drawer, though. What if I never come back to it? I suppose if I end up writing things that I like better, it shouldn’t matter, but it’s symbolic now. Then again, a symbol could be relatively unimportant, only there to inspire greater things.
We’ll see. I’ll tinker with it over the next day or two and make a decision later. Maybe I just needed to write it to break the block, to serve as a learning experience. Who knows?
One last order of business before I sign off. I’ve gone by many names in my day. I shift in and out of them like I change my shape, trying to find something I look good in. Seeing as how I’m making a serious go at the writing thing, I need to settle on a name to write under. Since this is meant to be my personal/professional blog as a writer, it’s probably best to bear that label here, as well.
Ruskin Drake is a name of the past. It served me well enough. New life, though, comes with a new name. Hopefully this time, the name will stick.
You can call me Hob. Hob Nickerson. Nice to meet you.