My waning interest in writing troubles me. Or, perhaps, it’s my willingness to invest my fingers in fiction that’s atrophied in recent weeks. I want not to write, but to have written. I think Dorothy Parker wrote something like that. I understand the sensibility. It’s as if my best writing, none of which is completely satisfactory, is all behind me. Ahead lie only poorly constructed sentences devoid of the beauty I wish for them. When I write, I feel as though my words are slogging through cold maple syrup that crystallizes a bit more with each key stroke. This is not writer’s block. This is different; this is the sense that language—every shred of meaning having been extracted from each word and every individual letter—is moribund. The language available to me may no longer be adequate to convey significant thoughts or emotions; it may no longer have the capacity to depict scenes, evoke ideas, or summon affection or antipathy. This is, of course, absurd. But that’s where my mind is going this morning. I’ve been awake for quite some time and am now working on a second or third cup of coffee, but my thoughts remain a porridge of mush and misgivings. I wonder if I should turn my attention away from fiction and focus, instead, on writing essays? Opinions and beliefs, many competing fiercely with one another, fill my head. Perhaps I should form them into cogent arguments by putting them in writing. I might thereby successfully claim one or the other of my many clashing ideas as truly my own, one I can champion without arguing against myself.  This long, convoluted paragraph has taken far too long to compose. The malaise has won for now.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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One Response to Malaise

  1. Teresa says:

    Stop talking about it; just do it. or not.

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