On writing #3: Nothing to say

I am going through an alarming phase in which I have nothing to say. This did not worry me over the weekend, as I was in the company of friends and, apparently, 27 bottles of wine. And then, when I got back on Monday, I could string a sentence or two together about recycling these very friends that had such a terrible influence on me.  

But yesterday, nothing, and today… nothing. (I think there was a column written by a columnist once about writing about not knowing what to write about. I feel like that person right now.)

I received a blog award, The Honest Scrapper, from Extranjera. (Thanks a lot.)


I am honoured because I think she writes a kick-ass blog, and she is prolific as hell. I wonder where all the great sentences that land up on her page come from, there are so many of them, and she is Finnish to boot. Not that this means anything beyond that she seems to be writing in a second language and that she likes to drink a lot. (She says she does.) I once had dinner with a client who came to shoot an Ericsson commercial in Cape Town. The crew represented the whole Scandinavian peninsula. The producer and director were Swedes, the DOP Norwegian and the steadicam operator was Finnish. They were unanimous on the fact that the Fins drank the most. And that they liked to drink a lot.

But back to the Honest Scrapper, and the problem of having nothing to say.

It is one of those awards where you have to do the work after the honour has been bestowed on you and then pass it along. Like a chain letter in the old days, but better, as it is designed to attract attention to your blog and spread the love at the same time. I suspect it also gives folk something to write about on days when they have absolutely nothing to say. Lots of  people out there really like to write about themselves. Sometimes I do too.

But today, this week, this month, I feel that I may not deserve the award. I tried to write “ten honest things” about myself, but failed. It is not that I cannot put ten things down on a page, it is just that once they are down, they seem of little consequence, and lacking in both wit and gravitas. And if so… who the hell cares?

There were only two items that amused me about myself:

1. I am a BIG Neil Diamond fan. Indra can scoff all he likes, but when the news of a new album hit the stands, I was not even a little surprised. I knew it would be coming.

2. I am a TERRIBLE food snob. It starts with making your own stock. If you do not make your own stock, please do not tick the “Cooking – I LOVE it!” box in the “more about yourself” page of your Dating Buzz profile. Do NOT describe yourself as a good cook. No, really. That, for me, it’s as damning as posting a picture from ten years ago when you were twenty kilo’s lighter. I know it’s pathetic. But a girl has to have at least one standard she is not prepared to lower during a hormonal surge of some kind or the other.

I just thought of another one:

3. My mother thinks that a return to faith in God and prayer will make my life better. I think giving up coffee, alcohol, flour, dairy and sugar will make my life better. If you had to choose, which one would YOU say is the narrow path?

But moving along.  I am also not sure who I would send this to. The initial instruction was “7 cool people” but has been whittled down to “seven five”. It does not help much. Considering the trauma I experienced in trying to be honest about myself, I hesitate to pass on the award, I must admit.

If it is about connecting, and sharing, I must recommend the Hispanic Fanatic very highly . He writes beautifully, and is funny, and engages critically and intelligently with the world he lives in. And he gets on really well with his mother. And Hardspear. I love his blog. (Where the hell have you been?) And then PW and Sons. There something about that one…

This funk I am in may be the result of trying to give up coffee for a whole day this week. I forwent its pleasures on Tuesday, and did pretty well. But on Wednesday I passed via the Chef on my way to work and today I cannot wait to get to Seattle. RIGHT NOW, I am thinking of taking my blog there.

I also started doing a round of Surya Namaskar in the mornings, and cultivating a routine. I thought that falling out of bed and heading for the computer in my pyjamas with an espresso, and staying there, was not an adult way of working at home. Now I get up, stretch, shower, have vegetable juice and THEN sit down, fully dressed and washed, like at a real job. The jury is out on that one.

I have moved my office around and thrown out the months-old newspapers. It is clean, sparkling, and conducive to work.

Still – nothing.

I print and read my preparation for class, I think about working on the tabloid essay. I have figured out that, if I proposed an argument at the beginning of the essay and failed to make it (which I did) I should not rewrite the entire thing, I should change the proposal to fit the argument that I DID make. That is a much easier task, but has not inspired me to action.

In fact, I get a headache just thinking about it. I feel trapped in procrastination, and I am not sure how I am going to get out of it. I think the salute to the sun is a good start, and I think I am going to stick with it for a while. That and the vegetable juice.

And keep on writing. Even when I have absolutely nothing to say.


One thought on “On writing #3: Nothing to say

  1. hardspear 1 May 2009 / 06:07

    Hi, love your blog too. After I’ve read your post on Beetroot Ring and Memory Lane, I spent quite a lot of time writing a post on Cooksister’s retro entry. I’ve been busy sorting out insurance after my wife’s car had been stolen. The stolen car was also the reason for my sourdough starter having been forgotten and when I eventually checked it again, it grew mold. I am starting afresh with another one on Monday. Hope you have a good long weekend.

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