Sludge Time. Squelch On Through. Revisited

This has a slight political tinge to it, but I will try not to dwell thereupon. The reason why I write ‘political’ is I have encountered directly or from being told by others of folk who have said in all understandable sincerity that because of the turbulent, toxic social and political atmospheres in their countries they are so distressed they cannot write, create. (At this stage I am referring to the USA and The UK, I daresay there are folk in other nations who feel this way). This is a small tragedy for so many people have so many positive contributions within them. And they are being stifled. There are enough barriers to discourage a writer anyhow, this is one extra.

I offer this, originally published in May of this year within my previous blog. It is a message to all those writers who have within them positive words to say, with stories, tales and personal accounts which if read would enrich in reading and writing community; for all contributions devoid of Hate, Ignorance and Intolerance are surely welcome. These words cover all causes of this stifling. If I am guilty of repetition Thank You Mr. Shakespeare then so be it. Writers need to be encouraged. I cannot stress this enough.

I begin.

Some things have to be said. Not in an upbeat way, nor in a method as if lecturing a group of new students. Somethings require airing not as a rallying call or a rousing appeal to follow things’ my way and all will be well’.

Somethings need to be warned about.

If a writer doesn’t go through the following experience they are either very lucky, blessed, not telling the truth, or not writing properly.

Of course I am writing about those dread episodes when everything seems either pointless, hopeless or fearful. (The latter also turns up after success and the writer fears they will never better that last work).

These demons come in various forms; for instance either in a slough of grey despondency when even opening the cover of the laptop seems to be a supreme effort, OR the sharp pain when you happen to spy someone else’s (never mind who) success which appears to you to have come out of thin air (being in this state of mind you are of course not being the least bit rational).

There again the world in general seems such an unhappy, bitter place in which small twisted folk gain more access with their bile and pestilence that an honest writer feels their offerings would be ignored or even worse thought trite, because they have not joined in the debate. The latter is unfair as a writer these days may be fearful of getting publicly involved. Understandable considering the ranks of the cowardly trolls.

Despair can set in

There are of course other variations on this theme. All coalesce into these similar responses.

I can’t write (sometimes this has ‘anymore’ added on)

Why do I bother writing??

In such wretched countries the last things you want to come across would be either

A cheery rallying call to never mind all will be well in time (‘Are we talking centuries here?’ You ask)

A bright and peppy post telling you how to get on and get yourself noticed AND how serious a business marketing is. ( At the first juncture you have a sarcastic image of yourself dancing frenetically on a high building hurling copies of your work at the folk down below while crying out ‘At least read the damn thing!’; at the second juncture you either are so scared at the seemingly hopeless prospect that you hide under an allegorical (or maybe literal)  table OR THIRDLY as snarling at the writer’s post you make it known you have been doing this and do they think you a drivelling idiot???) (by now you usually are drivelling, though in frustrated rage).

By some monumental effort of charity and spirit you do not lower yourself to the gutter by being spiteful at anyone who has posted up their first success, you manage a ‘like’ and maybe if you’ve got your favourite brew just write (sic) you squeeze out a ‘Well done you’ because despite everything you are feeling you actually mean it, only you wish some of that would come your way.

It has to be acknowledged, said, enunciated, lamented and admitted that in general for the vast majority of writers of blogs, tweets, stories, novels, factual works and any permutation the odds are stacked heavily against you. The mixed blessing which is the Internet has enabled many folk to be able to put the electronic version of pen to paper. In fact I wonder if writers out-number those who read but don’t write in any form. Thus amongst this oceans of talent, polluted by sewerage of hack-writers, hate merchants and fabricators is anyone going to notice you little wave or splash?

‘Ah me,’ you say, or something of the general equivalent.(Often with words you might not use in front of children)

At this stage some folk say ‘Writing is not for me. Anyway I have been wanting to do….’ Whatever it might, and away they go to do whatever and feel released of the weight and live happier lives in other directions. Which is a perfectly sensible approach. It’s much better to have tried and say, ‘I have been there’, than to ponder of ‘What might have been’

As for the rest of us. Us who cannot let go of the urge to Write, who feel restless and unsettled unless words are being put to paper or the electronic equivalent. Us who despite all previous past evidence simply will not let go and opt to carry on despite the fact of feeling sorrowful and wondering if there will ever come a day when we can rise at the sunny dawn and with light breakfast and a gladsome heart pen another contribution for a waiting public.

If you count yourself amongst these serried ranks you must evident be A Writer. The creative urge runs deep within your blood, stirs as part of your spirit, roams your restless mind and simply will not let you go. Irrespective of the results or lack of them you will forge on for one more effort. You are determined, in a dogged way. You believe you have something to say and will not be stifled. It is how you are. You are fated to be this way. You will not let go.

There are some lesser mortals who mask their soulless ways by applying what they delude themselves as being wise and witty words such as ‘Every person as a book inside of them and in most cases that is where it should stay’ or ‘Insanity is trying the same thing over again and expecting different results’. These dry and vapid folk know nothing of the ceaseless urge to create and are to be ignored, pitied or simply sneered at. Their cousins ‘Though Who Would Be A Critic’ and have never tried to write anything other than what they may consider ‘harsh truth’ are equally pointless in their efforts. Between them and their professional mentors these have done more to stifle creativity down the ages than even the strictest of authoritarian regimes. Ignore them all. True it is not easy. Ask any writer who has actually broken the barrier you yearn to and sits in the public domain.

So back to do, unknown, doubtful and weary.

You will sigh, you will feel dispirited, you might not produce anything for weeks.

And then the urge starts up again and once more the words started to bubble up, from deep within, the writing begins again. You are drawn out of your unhappy little retreat.

You would wish it could be a lot easier, less painful, more hopeful.

But you cannot, will not stop. For myriad reasons

Not you The Writer.

One day you may break through, even in a small way and for you this would be a happy time.

And I will celebrate for you.

Until then as you must slouch on, movement is progress.

Accept this is the way you are; it makes you an individual.

Never take your pain and frustrations out on other writers, it is beneath you.

Continue to write and never destroy your work for you never know who the Ages will view you.

Always Write. For it is in your nature

6 thoughts on “Sludge Time. Squelch On Through. Revisited

  1. Well, a lot of good advice there, Roger. I especially enjoyed the humour train bringing it to the station. Personally I enjoy writing, mostly essays and short stories. I just can’t be bothered with the marketing you know, playing that cat and mouse game with agents, publishers and I don’t want to ever have an encounter with a critic – it would not go well!!! I’ll wake up one morning and an essay or a short story will hang there, just on the edge of my periphery. The trick is not to try to “see” the whole thing but let it develop itself during the day, line by line, paragraph by paragraph and hope that by the end of the day I won’t be so tired that I will avoid that blank page in Text Editor because I know that after putting down the title and the first paragraph or opening line of conversation… I’ll fall asleep on the keyboard. The wine sitting at my left hand doesn’t help at all! The shorty I wrote tonight was a two-day incubation, so not too painful. What next, I wonder?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the kindness Sha’ Tara, glad you found it useful.
      Some of us know for all sorts of reasons we have very small chances of getting into print by the conventional, commercial method and so we work along our own paths.
      I agree that you need to be aware somethings must develop, Stream of Consciousness can work on occasions but as I have found there is high risk of when you read back having a:
      ‘Whaaaat the *@!& were you thinking of there????’ reaction.
      A great deal of conversation goes on in my head through a day (or night) before words hit paper (or Word Doc) and even then, they will be altered.
      Happily I am reaching ‘Escape Velocity’ free in the knowledge I do not have to bow to an editor or publisher I can do as a I durn well please.
      Let us just adhere to the Faith of
      ‘Keep on Keeping on’


  2. Sometimes I am not able to write. Not so much from lack of ideas, but more from lack of time or inclination to write down my thoughts. It is for this reason that I do not pay for my blog site… I just never know when the hiatus might hit. I refuse to be chained to a regular posting schedule. I need inspiration (usually an emotion) to write down a thought or two. I have never written a book, but I have several inside me. I wrote a 5,000 word short story once (on a bet with a friend who never produced her own on that same bet ‘that we could). My friend congratulated me on its completion (posted on’ ‘Shortbreadstories’ years ago), and said it truly depressed her. That was intended really, as this was a fictional piece but based on some factual observation, called ‘The Fires,’ that illustrated the poverty and corruption that surrounds forest burning for corporate gain. It did not have a happy ending for any of its varied charactars. Most reviews indicated the same thing. Life does not always cough up a happy ending, and it is a terrible travesty that we pretend that it does. But no, that particular piece will not have an avid readership, no one wants to feel bad about the world as it actually presents itself. Writers know this, and the struggle is always to find the right path for the moral compass to go, to entertain and to ‘hook’ the reader. It is an endless struggle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Incidentally, one of my reviews was positive. It suggested that I turn the short story into a full novel as the plot was so good, despite the awful message. They said that a short story did not do it complete justice. Fair praise indeed. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Now that is constructive! 👍
        If you sit back first and think of all the classic novels which are grim and have nothing close to a happy ending, dwell on how they were arrived at, then get back into the fray!
        Sometimes some folk need a grim message to kickstart their own potential in whatever direction.

        Liked by 1 person

    • You never know Colette.
      And remember this you did sit down and you did write and complete something. This is an achievement to be celebrated.
      Sometimes it is the telling of the story and the depths which are entered coupled with the ‘colour’ of the narrative which grab folk.
      Taking extreme examples ‘Crime & Punishment’ or the bulk of Kafka’s work are grim in the extreme and yet are read over and over.
      It might be worth a re-visit and a re-launch, ‘You never know’.
      Because I have read much military and political history and the attendant realism, then seeing the follies being repeated by today’s crop of populists my common state of mind is one of low-level anger, thus I do like fiction with happy endings as a soothing balm.
      My own work is thus very one-sided, real evil villains or hypocrites do not get an easy ride (if they survive that long ‘cough *Bolton* cough’) and things will work out, somehow.
      They are my worlds, if folk don’t want to read my books that’s not my problem.
      Keep on keeping on I say.
      All the best’

      Liked by 1 person

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