Monthly Archives: July 2014

Good and Bad

A cou­ple days ago I quit my Face­book account to take a break from all the noise. For some­one who lives and works alone, some­thing like Face­book can be a qui­et and effec­tive way to stay in con­tact with col­leagues, friends, fam­i­ly, and the var­i­ous zeit­geists going around. But for some­one like me who lives and works alone, it can also be a Dopamine Pez Dis­penser, a ClikN­Lik that licks my brain with every click. It’s so easy to pour my heart out in posts and com­ments, much eas­i­er than slog­ging care­ful­ly through my work. It’s not the first time I’ve quit FB, but it’s the first time that I am hap­py about it. That’s good.

But the slog­ging through work — that’s bad. Ever since I blew out my career and my life with addic­tion and oth­er mal­adies a decade ago, I have been unable to com­plete any­thing. No nov­el, no screen­play, noth­ing. Recent­ly, a good friend and pro­duc­er asked me to write a project she and a direc­tor had begun to devel­op. I hes­i­tat­ed because I didn’t want to let them down, but I liked the project enough and I like her ener­gy and pas­sion, so I said yes. But I have strug­gled for weeks with the most basic tasks of screen­writ­ing and haven’t been able to come up with a com­plete out­line. Yes­ter­day, I had to let her know that I couldn’t do the job because I was slow­ing them down.

This is incred­i­bly dis­cour­ag­ing. I have to won­der if I ever can write again. Intel­lec­tu­al­ly, I know I can, because my mind is full of great ideas. I read vora­cious­ly, and I watch films with the same curios­i­ty and excite­ment I had twen­ty-five years ago, but I can’t trans­late any of my ener­gy and dri­ve into a com­plete project. I feel like I’m at a dan­ger­ous inter­sec­tion, but I can’t just sit at the light for­ev­er. I have to go somewhere.