March 12, 2004

No-Content Jitters.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 6:00 pm

The No-Content Jitters (hereinafter, “NCJ”) strike at times when I realize that much of the day has gone by and I haven’t given a single thought to what I might write about. The onset of NCJ is fairly subtle and only mildly disconcerting. However, as time passes the symptoms (i.e. the unsettling feeling of being doomed to spending the rest of my life without ever having a single thought that’s worth a damn) become more and more unpleasant.

I find that this often happens on days when, for reasons dictated by Life 101, I forego my morning walk. It has been my experience that it is during that hour-long sweaty strut that the electrochemical soup in my cruller sometimes gives birth to an idea or two. Today there was no walk, ergo, no sweat-spawned ideas.

As prime writing time approaches, one looks for excuses explanations for what is perceived as the beginning of the end of one’s ability to be anything even remotely resembling creative or interesting: “I was too busy today with other things that are necessary for me to think about in order to avoid miss-a-meal colic.” Or, “My mind was occupied with the news of the day, which is often too awful or too aggravating to constitute subject matter I care to write about.” Or, “The news is interesting, and is something I want to write about, but I surely could not do it justice. Other people are much better at that.” Or, “I’m just too tired to be thinking of goofy shit to write, and besides, all this writing stuff is a waste of time anyway.”

I think you get the picture.

Welcome to NCJ Anonymous.

Me: “My name is Jim, and I have NCJ.”

Group: (in unison) “Hi, Jim.”

Me: “They say that the first step to successful treatment is recognizing and admitting the problem, and that’s why I am here.”

(applause from Group)

Group: (in unison) “That’s right, Jim.”

Me: “I don’t have anything to write about today. I didn’t take my walk. I was busy at work. The War on Terror and the presidential campaign have occupied my mind.”

Group: (in unison) “You’re blocking, Jim.”

Me: “No. I swear. That must be it. It’s not that there is nothing to write about. Hell, there are an infinite number of things that people can write about. There’s a whole Library of Congress full of stuff that people have written about. It must be that I’m just too busy thinking about other things. I’m tired too. That’s gotta be it.”

Group: (in unison) “You’re still blocking, Jim.”

Me: “No, I’m not. You people don’t understand.”

Group: (in unison) “You’re full of shit, Jim.”

Me: “I’m full of shit? What kind of Support Group is this anyway?”

Group: (in unison) “It’s a No-Bullshit Support Group, Jim.”

Me: “I’m not full of shit. I’m tired and really busy with other things. It is you people who are full of shit.”

Group: (in unison) “You can’t bullshit bullshitters, Jim.”

Me: “I’ve about had it with you. I’m tired. I’ve had enough of this silliness, and I want to get out of here and do other things.”

Group: (in unison) “You’re getting warmer, Jim.”

Me: “Now, you are being ridiculous. What the hell are we doing here? Playing huckle-buckle-beanstalk, for Chrissakes?”

Group: (in unison) “Why don’t you just admit it, Jim?”

Me: “Admit it? Admit what?”

Group: (in unison) “Why don’t you admit that you just don’t feel like writing today, Jim?”

Me: “That’s not true.”

Group: (in unison) “Jim, …. Jim, … Jim – You cannot bullshit us. You must not bullshit yourself.”

Me: “I can’t admit that. I can’t.”

Group: (in unison) “Yes you can, Jim.”

Me: “I d-d-d-don’t think I can do that.”

Group: (in unison) “Yes you can, Jim. You must, Jim. Try it. You’ll see.”

Me: (following a long, emotion-packed pause) “I …don’t….feel……… I CAN”T!!”

Group: (in unison) “You’re being an asshole, Jim. Just admit the truth, Jim. It will set you free.”

Me: (following an even longer pause) “O.K., I…don’t….feel….like….writing….today.”

(raucous, enthusiastic applause from Group)

Me: “Are you happy now?”

Group: (in unison) “Are you happy now, Jim?”

Me: “I’ll be blogging this tomorrow.”

Powered by WordPress