This is really really true.

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I haven’t written much here lately. I don’t have a really good reason, other than the THOUGHT of writing a POST has gotten so HUGE-NORMOUS in my mind, that I actually get terrified and just run away.

However.

Yesterday, my friend Chris posted a link to Hyperbole and a Half’s latest post “Depression Part 2.” This blog, in general is one of the greatest blogs ever created (it’s got cartoons and humor for heaven’s sake!), but here is the conversation I had with Colin today describing this particular post:

Me: I posted a link on Facebook yesterday. SOOO Cool. You gotta read it.

Him: (Jaded from having heard this a gazillion times) Another feminist twerking Onion man-on-the-street Prince Muppet dance remix?

Me: (rebuffed but not to be held down by the Man): Oh, no! This one is SO relevant.

Him: (stands still, holding shirt in his hands, ironically waiting for Earth to stop orbiting the sun).

Me: It’s about depression and it is SO funny, and TRUE, and cute, with drawings with eyes like this (demonstration of cavernous eyes and slashed mouth) and there’s a grey hoodie and I didn’t even KNOW that was her hair until the SPIDERS, and of COURSE the shriveled corn kernel of JOY. HA HA HA.

Him: (perks up at mention of corn): CORN? Really?

Me: YES! (Small vertical leap) Aaaand… It’s not even a METAPHORICAL corn! It’s a real shriveled kernel of joy!

Him: (Pulls shirt over head in that decisive, I-work-hard-for-the-money way). Fine. Send me the link.

Me: (Going too far) Well, I did SAY it was on my Facebook page.

Him: Oh. Well.

(END SCENE)

I haven’t written in a while, because life takes many unexpected turns, which just wreak havoc on creative balance. About the time I get this figured out, there’s that over there that is jumping on a trampoline with a full coffee pot.

I remember telling friends (in annoying snooty drawl) “I don’t really experience “writer’s block”” and I think I believed it was TRUE!! After all, consider that I’ve written at LEAST 27 field trip permission slips, and 99 emails to teachers,  a birthday card to my sister, mindless newsletter copy, and 10 squillion comments on Facebook. I am writing like Hemingway!

Hmm.

Recommended readings then?

Hyperbole and a Half: Depression Part 2 (which in the opinion of this person who has experienced depression is the BEST AND ONLY piece of writing I have ever seen on depression that really and truly captures it. Read it read it read it. Bring the shriveled corn of joy into your life!

Also: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman… for kickass beauty of writing, magic and nostalgia.

Oh and anything from the back category here: The Old Days. Enjoy!

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Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home.

 

  3 comments for “This is really really true.

  1. October 5, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Elizabeth, I read the Neil Gaiman book recently and loved it. Rumor has it HBO or AMC is creating a series based on his American Gods novel.

    If possible, don’t worry about the writer’s block; it comes and it goes. All you can do is give yourself a chance to write every once in a while, even if you think you have nothing to say.

    I have found a new job as a writer for Cornell’s College of Engineering and now that I am getting paid to write, I am finding I have very little to say in my non-professional writing. I feel like I am giving all my best effort to my job. I guess that is good for my boss, but it is making me feel like I am cheating myself a bit. My hope is that I will come to some sort of creative balance as I get used to this new job.

    On the upside, I LOVE what I get to do for work. Mostly, I interview fascinating people and then write about them.

    Be strong, woman. The writing lives in you and it will come when it will.

    • October 5, 2013 at 7:23 am

      Chris how great is it that you can write the sentence: “I got hired as a writer??”
      Sheesh. That is so great. Enjoy it. Thanks for the words!

  2. October 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Hang in there.

    Write when the spark hits. Pain is part of the journey. I hope there is joy mixed in.

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