I have told one poor soul suffering from writer’s block that his only cure may be age. I felt like a bastard, but I felt it was my duty as an older bastard to expose the raw truth of the moment.
Hardly seems fair, but some people experience life at an even pace for a reason. How many of us can only write once we have taken in a significant portion of the world around us? The quiet assimilation of life, the time to reflect and grow, is just as powerful as rising above sudden and abrupt circumstances.
If I did not have the quiet day-in and day-out of my existence, surrounded by those I love and cherish, could I properly contemplate the observations that form the basis of my writing?
For example, the other day I was thinking of a past lover. This was not a bittersweet remembrance, but rather a simple memory of what she said. This lover was particularly intense. Despite this intensity (and I assure you it was as heady as it was smoldering, with equal parts good and bad), the things she said in passing have bubbled up somehow to the forefront of my memory. Before, it would be visions of her anger swirling around her heat and her passion.
One evening we were walking at night and the stars were out. I noticed that she looked at them and frowned. The conversation went something like this:
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
“I don’t like walking under the stars,” she said.
“The stars at night are… creepy.”
“Okay, remember when I told you I didn’t think you were weird? I take it back.”
“Shut up!” (smack)
Why did she say that? What was she thinking? If someone told that to me today, that would interest me mightily. Many people look up at the night sky in wonder with a bit of romanticism. Was she agoraphobic, or did she know something I did not?
I was a young man at the time of this interesting revelation. I did not have the insight or the experience to explore why she felt that way. Indeed, at the time I was probably thinking about how long it would take me to get her dress over her head.
Remembering that conversation now is as if my inner-self is trying to tell me something—thinking of this lover used to make me frown. Now, however, I feel a silent curiosity. That one lone comment is very interesting. I think, dear 8.3 readers, she might be right. The stars at night are creepy.
My maturity gave me two things the other day. It inspired me to think outside of conventional speculative fiction bounds (a statement not as contradictory as it sounds), but also I no longer am bothered by remembering this lover. Perhaps, as a storyteller, I am experiencing my life at an even pace for a reason.