Tag Archives: Writer’s block

Randy-a writer’s block

      Writing today, when I got to it, was not easy for me.   But by my writing every day I have shown I can usually come up with something.

      There were three or four starts about my father.   Nearly all of my concentration on my mother was negative.   I wasn’t interested in being negative.   Started with a word.   Pulled words out of the air. Ideas follow words; they usually do.   Today they didn’t.   “Do your penitence, I get it”: I usually do, but writing every day is a commitment; it ‘s about not getting block and creating something (anything) every day.

      With the loss of sleep, and pretending to be asleep, the direction this would take changed many times.   I am a writer.   I can write.   I am not concerned when the words don’t come; when my brain doesn’t work; and…with the pressure of writing every day…when I repeatedly tried and came up with nothing.   I want to be writer, and I won’t give up trying.   I am engaged in constant games with myself, which seems to indicate that I’m trying too hard.

      To be who I am and where I am is to be in touch with my community and my country; and so I should have plenty to write about.   And in our country we have just elected for the first time an African American president, and we are faced with some of the biggest challenges of our lifetime. “Two Wars and an Economic Collapse.”   That’s something, but it is also something everyone else is writing about: original ideas about something usually don’t out of thin air and require time to evolve and a lot of thought.   And so today was not a creative time or as creative as it could’ve been had I been more patient and allowed my brain to work without pushing it.   (Recently I came up with some new ideas about acting; and a few weeks since then and I’m well on my way to creating a new method.)   Isn’t that how it works?   Now I’m cooking.  Now I can sleep.

Randy Ford

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Randy-Finding the balls to write

      The time came for us to go into the Peace Corps.   We ended up in the Philippines instead of somewhere in Africa because the Peace Corp foiled an attempt by my draft board to get me by accelerating their selection process.   My wife and I lived the next two years of our lives in Manila, teaching, and, for me, also working in a theater in Fort Santiago, a national shrine.   To say the least, it was a very busy time in our lives; but no busier for me, as a self-professed workaholic, than I have been all of my life.   Then the question arises why in the world, after a very productive time as a writer at the Dallas Theater Center, I didn’t write at all during my stint in the Peace Corps (or for that matter while we traveled throughout South East Asia and around the world mainly by bicycle.)

      That has been my story, that creatively I have gone through stagnant periods when I lacked the confidence to write.   Yes, confidence, it takes confidence to write, and in my case, after losing contact with Mr. Eugene McKinney and Paul Baker at the Dallas Theater Center and the kick of an audience, I had to find the impetus to write within my self.   After many failed attempts at writing over an extended period of time (I don’t know how many years it was now), I became discouraged and honestly thought I couldn’t write.   I would go around telling people I was a writer, but basically I was lying, or was I?   Didn’t I keep trying to write?   Didn’t I put in the time?   It’s kind of a blur now, but it seems I as if did.

      Every time I responded to the urge to write by sitting at a typewriter, with pen and paper, or at a computer and actively commenced work…let me repeat “and actively commenced work”…something creative came out of it.   Every time?   I think so.   Not finding the motivation to start seems to have been my biggest hang up.   (I wouldn’t call it a writer’s block, because at all cost I try to avoid them (blocks), by not thinking in that way.)

      Mr. McKinney, what was happening here?   Why have so many of your students stop writing?   What happened?   Maybe all of those people are still writing, are closet writers, but no longer have the desire or whatever else it takes to put their work out there.   Perhaps they have been told they’re not any good.   Or they’ve told themselves that.   This can all be true.

      All of this was true for me.   But now I’m writing.   To me, I’m a writer, and that makes me happy. Though I may not be any good…published, produced or not and with all the complex baggage of writing without recognition brings…I have to think I can write before I can: here I have to not listen to myself when I tell myself I can’t.   And if I don’t do that, or not pay attention to other resistance out there, then I’m open for a joyous ride, which sometimes when I think about it makes me sad because I ain’t getting any younger.   And on that said note…

Good day, Randy Ford

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