My husband Marv and I were attending a theatre performance at our regular favorite theatre (South Coast Repertory). We have had season tickets for most of our married life.
At intermission, we met up with another couple who are also regulars. Jim is a retired English teacher. So of course my opener was as follows:
Ev: “Jim, now that you’re retired, are you writing?”
Jim: “Evelyn, I don’t have the discipline.”’
Ev: “I beg your pardon?”
Jim: “When I was teaching, I was highly disciplined about preparing lesson plans. I had to be or the kids would have eaten me alive. But now, I don’t have to be disciplined, so I’m not. I’m into a lot of volunteer work.”
Ev: “Teaching fulfilled you.”
Ev: “Not until later in life did I find what fulfilled me. And then, finding it was a fluke.”
Jim: "Still, you have to be disciplined. To get yourself to sit down and write.”
Ev: “I have been writing for thirty years. There is no such thing as discipline for me. I always want to write my fiction. The only thing that temporarily stops me is energy. After three hours of intense writing in the morning, I’m exhausted. I will regain energy in the evening, but then I become too stimulated to sleep. Writing is so fascinating that merely thinking about it has turned me into an insomniac.”
The other day I watched a film about Jackson Pollack’s life. He had no need of disciplne. He always wanted too paint.
I’m certain the same was true for Michelangelo, and the whole gang.
And of course, A. A. Milne, author of the Winnie the Pooh books.
WRITERS BLOCK? What is it?
Answer: I think Writers’ Block is NOT an absence of ideas per se, but rather coming upon an idea that arouses your passion to start the motor and go for the ride.
AN INCIDENT IN THE FAMILY is now on my Amazon site in paperback. Please click to order.