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It’s been a few years since I have written much of anything, and I was afraid that my brain had rusted and I wouldn’t be able to do it anymore. I probably couldn’t think of anything to say, and, even if I did, I surely wouldn’t be able to find the words to say it. So that phase of my life was sadly over.
This started me thinking of a technique therapists often use to break though a roadblock. When a client says, “I just can’t talk about that, “the therapist might respond, “Don’t push yourself to talk about it. But try and tell me why it is so hard — all the reasons why you can’t, or shouldn’t, talk about it.”
There usually are valid reasons to remain silent. Reasons that come from the past, like “I will kill you if you ever mention this.” Or reasons in the present, like “If I put it into words I will realize how awful the situation is, and I will have to do something about it.” These reasons should be respected, taken seriously.
Once the blocks to talking have been considered and weighed, it usually becomes possible to talk about the formerly forbidden topic. It won’t be easy, just a little easier.
So I went through all the reasons I can’t write any more, and, frankly, they were pretty lame. What it boiled down to was – I can, but I don’t want to. I’d rather be doing things that are more fun. I’d rather hang loose and not be disciplined. I’d rather not put thought into creating a structure to take the place of the deadlines I used to have.
I take it back about the writing block being lame. It is perfectly valid to want to have fun and be spontaneous. I’ve put decades and decades of work into making my life my own and I deserve to enjoy it. That’s far better than still obeying some jerk who said, “Don’t talk” some sixty years ago.
So yes, I can and will write, some. And I will play, some. No need to choose.
I do better if handed a topic. If there is anything you-all would like me to write about, please post it in the comments section or send me an e-mail. If I know anything about it, I’ll give it a try.
November 12, 2011