I broke through my writers block yesterday.
I was talking to a writing friend after my last post Stuck!, and we talked about writing, and about his unwritten story. Part of his life was declared to be a government secret, and he fears telling the story could make some agency very unhappy with him. I contend that it happened a long time ago and those people are dead, that he can make it fiction, yet authentic. What made the early John LeCarre stories so interesting was their authenticity. The most exciting thing I was involved in as a military pilot was an engine fire on takeoff out of Guam, or maybe the Dutch Roll on climb out from Hickam. I carried a handgun sometimes but it was seldom loaded (those things are dangerous!) . In writing my pilot’s story, AWOL 21, about a T-38 instructor pilot, the challenge was to make it interesting. My friend’s experiences, which he has not discussed with me, are no doubt more gripping, more interesting than mine.
The discussion got me thinking.
I have been on a low dose of an anti-depressant (fluoxetine) for about six months because of anxiety from my divorce in process. I was stressed by the whole experience until I got my ego out of the way and we came to agreement on the settlement. We are friends again and are about to make our separate ways and are happy for each other. My time on this drug happens to coincide with the time I have been unable to write. I quit taking it this week. I am pretty sure it was getting in the way of my creativity.
My protagonist in Fort Davis Rocks woke up and started talking to me again. The banker is counting his piles of money, the bartender is winking at me, the writer is seducing the trial lawyer, the malevolent biker scheming his latest attack on the man. It makes me wish I could sit here all day, watching the rain outside my window and writing down what they say.
Everyone has a story. Write it. As Ernest Hemmingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”