Signifying nothing

Union Market

Mural at Union Market, Washington DC. Artist, at least by me, unknown

I’m beginning to think I can’t do this any more. The whole writing thing, I mean: I just have no ideas left. Aside from a few unedited short stories I haven’t knocked out anything new for over a year.

This is the 250th post I’ve written for this site. Not all of those have been posted – some, indeed, are files with but a single line in them. But still, 250 posts. Let’s say the average word count is 400. That’s 10,000 words on words, and, at a rough estimate of an hour and a half per post, that’s 16 days solid writing. That’s before we get to the whole stress it provokes.

You gotta ask yourself what the point is, dontcha? My only consistent writing is on a blog about writing.

I‘m not saying this for reasons of moaning, or despair, or to beg attention (though that’s always nice) but because this is something I’m sure most writers experience at some point: that sense that they have nothing, that they’re just going through the motions, that they’re a fraud.

And of course I’m in a privileged position. I’m going to be published (and I rather hope my publisher isn’t reading this right now). I’ve got the whole impostor syndrome thing to look forwards to. Right now, though, I’m in the whole ‘Oh God, I’ve got to do something better for a follow-up,’ hole. And circumstance is making serious brain-work a challenge.

I also compensate myself with the thought that all this blogging must be good for something. True, the edifice is hollow. But all words written are useful – just not as useful as the creation itself.

Hopefully this will be a temporary feeling and I’ll find a way to write what I want to write in the near future. And my post-modern writing about writing with no writing to write about self-reference-o-thon will soon be over. But for now the struggle continues.

5 thoughts on “Signifying nothing

  1. Speaking from a ‘making music there is barely even a potential audience for’ perspective I know where you’re coming from! At least with music I can rely on occasional input from others to start me off on an idea, but this is less obviously possible with writing I guess. One thing you could try and probably have is ‘the fictional band scenario’ I am a big fan of this. Decide for one day ‘today I shall be an experimental, electro-funk band’ and make music which is not ‘me’. It’s very liberating. In writing this could be simply write a screenplay, review, article (possibly arguing against your own view point!) I think you’d find it informative and interesting process. Be warned it can mean wasting vast amounts of time producing ‘work’ you never can or want to ever use!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting idea. Sounds a bit like the Oblique Strategies thang that Eno and Bowie used on occasion. Most of my work can’t, it appears, be used, so no big loss there!


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