The Lovers, The Dreamers… and me.

Occasionally when I am feeling downright rotten and want to regress into the cavernous recesses of my psyche, I choose to watch cartoons or made for TV movies. It’s not the best side of me, nor is it the healthiest.

To give you an idea of why I have been so distant, here is the best explanation I can give. I have gone through all 76 episodes of X-Men (from the 90’s), all 65 episodes of Spider-Man: The Animated Series (from the 90’s) and pounded through all 13 episodes of the 2003 revamp of Spider-Man (with the voice talents of Neil Patrick Harris and Lisa Loeb).

Last week I had a day that I wrote 5,000 words (about ten pages) of a story that I have been thinking about for over two years. I was so happy to get it out of me. For the longest time I was suffering from “Writer’s Blockage”.

While I don’t suffer from the same Writers Block as many people have described, I do suffer from Writer’s Blockage. The easiest way for me to describe it is in terms of an accident on the highway. There is a lot of information at one point, but it is off in the distance. I can’t quite reach it due to the other cars (or in writing, superfluous information) blocking my way.

It often feels like the story is there, but when I open a blank document and try to write there is so much going on inside my head. I know what I want to say, but it keeps getting stuck in traffic with the other sides of the story that I want to get out. Dialogue, exposition and scenery gather together like an angry Voltron refusing to let anything pass through my fingers.

Oftentimes I put on the Muppets and for some reason I cannot stop crying when Kermit starts singing “Rainbow Connection”. I guess maybe it never struck me how absolutely sad the song actually is.

I pulled up the lyrics and starting reading them and wondered to myself “Did Kermit not think he was a lover OR a dreamer? He did so many amazing things, put on so many amazing shows, and could play a banjo with froggy palms WHICH IS CRAZY AMAZING AS THERE ARE FAR FEWER FINGERS.”

Perhaps he just felt like he was watching everyone else succeed and it was a little bittersweet. I get it. I see people succeeding everyday. Whether it be a blogger that I absolutely adore getting top billing on the New York Times Best Sellers list for her new book “Let’s Pretend That Never Happened” (Jenny Lawson. Do yourself a favor and buy it.), a friend releasing her new album, a podcast getting planetary recognition, or a friend revealing that they are expecting a child.

The song speaks so strongly to me because I feel like I’m a dreamer that is so terrified of “the sweet song that calls the young sailor” and dooms them to a shipwreck, I keep myself from trying. Self doubt is as much of a self esteem issue as any of the others. It’s absolutely crippling to avoid things because there’s a possibility of failure.

I feel like I have a voice, and while it shows on my site that there is traffic here there isn’t a lot of interaction. Then I wonder if I’m essentially screaming into a black hole. The desire I have to create is directly related to the interest of others. That makes me a shitty writer. I guess that’s why I only have 64 pages of my story out of my head and a universe of story still rustling around my noggin.

For today I remain the “and me” of that supremely bittersweet song. Now to find another cartoon series