I’m Back


terminator

I’d hit a rough patch about four weeks ago. Hit it so hard I think the wheel came off.

It wasn’t writer’s block. I don’t believe in writer’s block. Writer’s block is simply you not having fun with whatever you’re writing. It’s a blanket explanation, I know, but not having fun could come from dozens of hard to pen down causes. Things like: lack of research, wrong direction, stinkin’ thinkin’, and getting bored with a project.

I didn’t have any of those. I was working on WARLOCK COP, my TV PILOT about a guy who is a COP and a WARLOCK. WARLOCK COP is awesome. I was having fun writing it but…

I just couldn’t focus. I’d find myself drifting away, checking reddit, watching videos on woodcarving and guitar fabrication. Hell, I’d watch videos of other people playing video games.

I’d go on facebook and just scroll around. I’d write blog post around blog post. I’d fiddle with my fantasy football lineup without end.

I’d do all these things and then sit back and go “huh. I should finish warlock cop.”

I never did, though.

Then the internet went down.

I was outside, smoking my pipe and writing down ideas in a notebook when it happened.  There was a truck working on the power lines outside.  I heard screwdrivers and electric sizzles as the worked the pole next to my apartment building.

They finished after some time. My notepad was on the floor. The only markings on the page were pipe ash.

I was busy reading movie reviews on my phone.

Then, suddenly, the next page wouldn’t load. The WiFi wasn’t working. I switched to the LTE network and finished reading the movie review, and then checked the router.

It was working fine, just no signal. I unplugged it and plugged it back in.

It didn’t work.

The first tinglings of fear began to creep up the hairs on my back.

“It’s not supposed to happen like this,” I told the router, “this isn’t supposed to be possible.”

No internet. A millenial’s worst nightmare.

My life is spent on the internet. I pay my bills online. I get paid electronically. I find jobs, send queries, submit stories to magazines, and even write blog posts entirely on the internet. Hell, I get my television, movies, and entertainment form the internet.

The internet turns me into a sappy Nicholas Sparks story. I want to cuddle the internet, stoke its face and tell it “I’m nothing without you. Nothing.”

It was gone.

What was I going to do? What was I going to read? What was I going to WATCH?

Here’s out movie collection:

IMG_1217

The thought of putting any of them in the blu-ray player disgusted me.

I had nothing to do.

So I wrote.

The first day, I figured out the ending to WARLOCK COP.

Unplug, plug, the router still flashed red.

The second day, I wrote fourteen pages.

I fell to my knees and prayed in front of the router, extolling it with livestock sacrifice. It remained silent, and blinked its wicked red eye at me.

The third day, I wrote fourteen pages.

I itched all over. I had trouble sleeping without being able to doze off with south park on my TV.

While I was downstairs getting coffee, I ran into Adrienne, who is staying at my place until the end of the month. I told her how productive I’ve been.

“I guess it was all the internet,” I said, slurping on some hot-brown-bean water, “I kind of hope it stays down so I can finish my script.

Adrienne agreed.

The fourth day, I woke up to a text message from Jared. It just said “Internets up!”

Shit.

The next thing I knew, I found myself in my computer chair, about to hit enter and blast my monitor off to REDDIT land.

My finger hovered over the key.

I went downstairs to get some bean water. Adrienne and Jared were watching the Real World and Road Rules MTC Challenge.

“So the internet’s back up.” I told them.

Adrienne spun to face me. There was fire in her eyes. “No,” she said, “get back upstairs right now and finish WARLOCK COP.” I turned to get coffee. “No,” Adrienne commanded, “write.”

So I went back upstairs and finished it.

The internet’s an amazing thing. I don’t need to tell you guys why, because you’re on it right now, you already know.

Sometimes, though, it makes writing impossible.

So I guess I need to find a place to write that doesn’t have internet.

Either that, or find someone to yell at me every time I start to dither online.

Maybe this guy.

batman write

 

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8 Comments

  1. Been there, done that. Boy, can I ever relate!

    There’ve been times when, were it not for the fact that I use the internet for all the important things like buying things and paying bills,I’d heave my computer out the window today and go it cold turkey. Instead, I spend far, far too much time browsing, exploring and playing games, and way too little getting any actual writing done on my book.

    Much as it pains me to say this, it can be as much a curse as a blessing for those of us who are susceptible to its siren song. Courage, man. Courage. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Oh boy, do I get this! Since Sunday, I’ve been on a self-imposed “Social Media Blackout (affectionately known as “SMB15”). No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or social media platform interaction, checking messages, liking, anything! The only thing I did was sign on to wish people happy birthday and right off. I’ve been tweeting all the blogs I follow, but really- that’s it. And what have I gotten done since Sunday?
    12 books read (I’m a fast reader, but before this, I was stuck on the same book for a week).
    5 chapters written in the novel I’m working on.
    4 short stories in the short story collection I’m working on.
    Numerous things I had been procrastinating on doing actually got done…
    Not blowing mine (or anyone’s!) horn, but I so understand what you are saying here. I was at work and was reading this blog and saluting the computer. Then I printed it up and showed my coworkers who have been my strongest supporters in this endeavor. My wheels came off my bike months ago and I’ve been struggling, even with blogs that I normally enjoy writing and usually don’t struggle as much with. I would spend intermittent wasted time on Facebook and crap, and HOURS later, feel like a damn loser for not having the willpower to just turn that monitor off and do what needed to be done. I needed to do this to prove that I can turn off the lure if needed. I am so happy with the results I may stay off FB and Twitter most of the day and only allow myself a hour a day for both combined. So, although yours was at the whim of strange internet gods (or Mercury Retrograde!), the end result is successful for both of us. I salute you, dude! Write on!

    Reply
  3. Fantastic! Thank you for sharing this. I have to go write now.

    Reply
  4. So easy to fall into the time-killing distraction that is teh interwebs. I went to a dinner the other night and got scolded because I was the only one who couldn’t put my Youtube views on the television because *gasp* I only brought my Kindle and not my cell phone to the meal. What does that say about us? Or me? I feel you man. Sometimes we need the forced downtime to boost our productivity.

    Reply
  5. I don’t believe in writer’s block either, but I do consider writing work so I try to make sure I’m taking enough breaks to sustain my writing habit and my other work.

    Reply
  6. So great….thanks for that

    Reply
  7. You’ve really got a good ear which is basically the only thing that matters. Writer’s block? Same opinion. Just about not having anything to say at the moment. You just walk away. The idea of “having a block” is more than likely being frustrated with not having much to say when you don’t.

    Reply

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