So... I haven't written anything over here for a while. I wish I could say that it's because I've been busy, but the shameful truth is that I just haven't been very productive of late. I've mentioned before that a few months ago I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, a chemical imbalance in the brain that makes it difficult to remain focused on specific tasks - like writing, for instance - and although I've been taking medication for it, it hasn't proven very effective.
After a remarkably productive January, I seem to have backslid, and have found it very difficult - and sometimes impossible - to gather my wits and concentrate on any prolonged activity. I can't even watch a 90-minute movie in a single sitting. I've managed to write some short reviews for my DVD site and made a little headway on a comic book script, but that's about it, and I'm agonizing over it. It's especially frustrating because now that I know why my mind "drifts," I feel like I ought to be able to correct the behavior by sheer force of will. But, being as it has a physiological, not psychological, cause, it just doesn't work that way. I'm picking up a new prescription tomorrow for a different type of drug. Hopefully, that one will work better.
I am a writer. I am compelled to write - or at least, I have to create stories. And my mind races (again, part of the condition) with countless ideas, plots, characters, scenes, snatches of dialogue. I flatter myself that I also have earned some small skill as a wordsmith, a fair understanding of story structure, and perhaps possess a smidgen of talent as well, if you believe in such a thing. But, the physical act of sitting down at a keyboard and remaining focused long enough to get all those ideas, characters and stories written down in ink - or rather, pixels - is a genuine struggle for me. I so envy and admire those for whom the words flow like water from a tap; for me, it's like wringing water from a sponge. At first, there's a brief cascade, but soon it's nothing but drops, and then, far too quickly, the sponge is wrung dry.
A lot of people I talk to don't understand that. I'm quite certain that they believe that I'm just not trying hard enough, and/or making excuses. I used to think that, too. I used to believe that I was lazy, because that's what all my teachers told me back in school. But now I know that isn't necessarily the case. If anything, I work a lot harder to accomplish much less... and that is insanely discouraging.
Monday night, in fact, I was so discouraged that I quit. Writing. Comics. Everything. And I fucking meant it. I was done banging my head against the wall, trying to make something of a career out of my stupid damned stories and characters that nobody wants to pay me anything for. It's too damned hard, and apparently I'm not good enough anyway, so fuck it.
For about an hour.
Then I came back in here, booted up my computer, opened MS Word, slammed down a Red Bull (for those with ADD, stimulants can have a calming effect and can aid concentration - friggin' screwed-up brain chemicals) and stared at the damned screen for another three hours and manged to squeeze about a page and a half of script out of my dusty, dried-up sponge of a brain.
This post is about the longest thing I've written in one sitting in nearly two months. After I click on PUBLISH POST, I'm going to go find something caffeinated, consume it, and come back here to once again try and finish the overdue comic book script I've been struggling with.
Wish me luck.