At some point every single day during the last few weeks, I’ve considered how long it’s been since I posted here and I wonder, what can I write about? It occurs to me that I’ve yet to work up my thoughts on Of Human Bondage, that maybe I should reintroduce Poetry Peeks, or that perhaps I should read that essay of Emerson’s on Experience. Then there’s also writing about reading, or making one of those lists I never stick to, and if all that fails, well, there’s always food. But nothing inspires me to sit down put forth the effort. I’m in a slump, a writing slump.
Whenever I find myself in a writing slump, it’s inevitably accompanied with all sorts of irrational thoughts like, “Oh well, that was fun. It’s over“. I become convinced that I’ll never come up with anything to write about ever again. Tonight I started wondering what I ever managed to write about in the first place. How did I possibly keep this thing up for the past two years when I apparently have so few ideas? So I combed through my archives. . .
Low and behold there appeared a post dated July 12th, 2011 which I titled “Summer Writing Slump.” I think I breathed an audible sigh of relief. I suddenly remembered, this is normal! MY normal. Of course I can’t think of anything to write about. It’s 95 degrees outside and so humid I can see it. Everything that touches my skin feels like it’s making me 10 degrees hotter. Mornings are consumed with contriving ways to keep my naturally curly hair from frizzing into a hazy football helmet around my head. In between hunkering down in our tiny half bath to wait out ferocious wind storms, I’m squeezing lemons into tea, making chilled pasta salads and vanilla chocolate chunk ice cream, and arguing with my husband about the thermostat and how I will most certainly die if it’s one degree higher.
I’m not quite sure how long it takes for something to stick in my memory, but apparently I get like this every year, and yet I still find myself panicking that I’ve suddenly lost any trace or illusion of ability I ever had. I imagine having to tell people, “I used to write about books, but I can’t anymore.” Which is even more ridiculous because I’m not in the habit of telling anyone about this blog and I’m pretty sure no one I know in “real life” even reads it. It’s just one of those lamenting thoughts I torture myself with.
I also remember that for the most part I have to just go with it. I can try very hard to clear the mists from my head, but I will likely need to squeeze lemons and experiment with anti-frizz serums just a little bit longer.
In the meantime, here’s a brief rundown of what I’ve been reading this summer.
1. Traveling Mercies : Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott : I discovered Anne Lamott when I was in college and in the length of a semester I read most of her fiction as well as non-fiction books. She has a combined poignancy and hilarity that makes her work a breeze to read. That’s all I’m going to say for now as I may work up a post about this one soon. Gasp.
2. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin : After watching season 1 of this show, I had little interest in reading the books. The show was enough. But the second season was like some sort of secret society for book readers only and it took me 3/4 of the season just figure out what the heck was going on. Besides, this series just makes for good summer reading. They’re the kind of books you can take outside with a slushy root beer that’s been left in the freezer for too long and bake in the sun while you read them. Last week I (finally) completed A Game of Thrones and have (finally) started A Clash of Kings.
Okay, that probably looks like a rather unimpressive rundown. It appears that I’ve been slacking off, I know. Truthfully I have been reading a bit slower than my usual slow pace lately, but I have been reading some other things too, I’m just leaving those books off the blog for the moment.