Friday, September 28, 2012


Dürer understands.
I'm currently enjoying a spell of Melancholy. 

Blog posts, you've probably noticed, have been sporadic. My novel, originally slated for publication next Spring, is proving to be more challenging than anticipated and won't be out until Autumn 2013 at the earliest. My cooking has been uninspired and my housekeeping sketchy. Even my hair is as limp and lifeless as the “before” picture in a shampoo ad.

Having read that melancholy was “the condition of having too much black bile," I've been treating it with homeopathic doses of dark chocolate and black coffee. As “black bile” was believed to be secreted by the spleen, I'm also taking care to keep mine well vented by yelling at pundits on talk radio. Mostly, though, I sit in front of a blank page on a screen, waiting for inspiration to again grace me with her presence.

I have no idea how long it will last, but I trust that, as in the past, it will pass. Eventually my humors will balance and realign themselves and the creative impulse will return.

In the meantime, it can be a challenge to “drive the dark of doubt away.” Looking back, all you can see are your mistakes, and it's easy for “It's not there today” to become “Maybe I never had it at all.”
Don't give the weird sisters Melancholy, Chagrin, and Regret control of your fate. Screw your courage to the sticking place and tell self-doubt to screw off. Critique the outcome, but don't criticize the effort. Revise your tactics rather than give up your goals. Success isn't guaranteed, but it's a possibility. The path may be paved with rejection, but hearing “No” is better than never hearing anything.  

Display your talents so they can be recognized, remember that vulnerability is a normal byproduct of exposure, and try to keep a good sense of humor.

Today's lesson: I have writer's block.

Next: I have writer's block

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