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The Silent Tide Experience – Writer’s Block

Wanting for words to put on paper wasn’t a problem in writing this book. I could always find something to say but I never got near the keyboard unless my stuff had time to ferment and my head was ready to explode. A “mental orgasm”, as Neil Young once said about his songwriting. If time gaps occurred because I wasn’t ready to write in my own way, I was comfortable with that. Truly said, I was an irrational ritualist about getting into character before I began to write. Did a bunch of weird shit that I’ll talk about later. But in my madness, however defined, if it wasn’t right, I didn’t write. I had to feel it. Because I didn’t want it scripted, outlined per some formula that you hear about in some “how to write a book” seminar. I wanted it to flow raw, but channeled, like lava from a burst vein in a mountain side volcano. Pure liquid fire but, directed.

My plan stumbled around chapter twenty-five when I fell into a slog mentality. My stuff felt good but it stopped having any newness, any magic. It became the same old thing. Good writing I thought, but, in actuality it was good bread gone mentally stale. I had stopped creating and, instead, started replicating that which was once done and it sucked.

So, I stopped typing and started reading. I picked up a copy of Outside magazine and read an interview with an author I had never read before – Richard Ford. The guy had received the Pulitzer Prize, the Penn/Faulkner Award and was a New York Times Bestselling author and apparently I was the only idiot on the planet who had never read his work. From the Outside interview, I learned that Ford was into great BBQ, Harleys, hunting and Wild Turkey. Given that there was nothing not to like about this dude, I immediately went online and ordered four of his works, “The Sportswriter”, “Independence Day”, “Lay of the Land” and “Canada”. When they arrived, I inhaled them as if they were oxygen. Ford is a superb novelist. Like air to a drowning man, they did the trick. Once a flat tire, I was now re-inflated and rolled on to conclusory things.

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