It's nobody's fault but mine, of course. The prompts are good, there are some gifted folks and I've got a notebook full of inspiring concepts about the craft but it's just not working, it's not working at all. At least twenty false starts in Google Docs and sundry notebooks, what the hell, I think too much and even when I try to crank it out I despise the end result so much, because I know it's not true, because if I don't like it how could anyone else?
Discontent with mediocrity, how many short stories have I read that were so uncompelling and self-consciously clever, characters I couldn't care about, incidents uninteresting, endings unsatisfactory. How many novels that unravelled and fell apart halfway through, go all the way or not at all, and I don't have the endurance and for that honestly a sense of shame.
It's like when I've tried doing the band thing, and the songs are so profoundly mediocre that I feel the life being sucked out of me as I play the chords or basslines, why bother? Why contribute more mess and averageness.
At least in art class you can keep throwing paint at the canvas, scrawl missives in pen and colored pencil on the canvas, collage the hell out of that trouble spot or at least smother it under a coating of white and start over again. With this it's harder to cheat. Either it's there or it's not and it's just not there.
I used to listen to a lot of Idlewild from the summer between junior and senior year all the way through my English litster undergrad and realize that they really need to make their way back into my Tuesday morning music rotations. I'm glad I caught them on their last tour through Clevelandia almost ten years ago now, because they haven't returned since and are now on hiatus. I was kind of pretentious about my punk rock back then to the point of being a jerk, but I still don't understand why this band never got big, cursed by falling through major label cracks and being a bit too brainy I guess. Songs about being socially awkward and reading books probably weren't quite as accessible maybe as songs about making out and getting cheated on. These tunes were what I once tried to write to. If only I could recapture that creative thirst again.