Turner’s block

I have those phases that I go through every now and then. I know I should be out there, creating the most divine pieces of art, or at the very least working on a commission or some bread-and-butter candlesticks as cannon fodder for the next show.

But I am not inspired. I can’t even work up the energy to pick up my sketch book and draw some doodles, never mind the next great wood work design.

I guess to some degree it’s connected to my day job, and to other activities in the day. It’s not that the day job is mindless or boring, but there are days when it just sucks up all my energy and in the evening I need to recover for the next day. Over the years I have eventually figured out how to be a decent manager, so that part of the day job is OK. Recently our mothership got bought by a bigger mothership, and now (don’t ask me to explain the whole long story) we suddenly have to comply with some weird american auditing scheme called Sarbanes Oxley (google it, and have fun trying to understand it). And let me tell you, the part of my day job where I have to deal with the SOX stuff is definitely not OK. It’s not even that I don’t agree with the principle, because I do. It’s the implementation. Completely OTT, with no regard for common sense. Anything that previously was based on trust is now replaced with evidence. One of these days they’ll make us fill in a form when we want to go to the loo.

Nuff of that. So today is one of those days. No energy left. No creative spirit, nix, nada, niente, zero, zilch, nothing.

As I said, it’s a phase I am going through. I am not depressed. I am not down or sad or anything like that. I am just not inspired to do anything creative. I’ve been there before, which is actually a blessing, because I know it will pass.

I wonder whether that’s similar to what writers experience when they cannot write. You just sit at a desk, with a piece of paper and a pen (or, more likely nowadays, a keyboard and an empty screen) and nothing comes. Yes, there’s the mundane and the obvious, and the everyday blare of pointless communication. Just open the BBC website, or read a newspaper or watch the news on TV, and you are completely immersed in it. Another war somewhere, another idiot blowing himself and a few other people into smithereens, another politician making statements that he wouldn’t even believe himself if he had to endure watching himself on TV. But is that really worthy of writing about? OK, I am writing about it, but then, I am not a professional writer, just some woodturner come blogger. So I do have a bit of license here.

So what do writers do to overcome writer’s block? Go and get drunk? Probably doesn’t help. I suppose everybody has their own recipe. So far mine is simply to give it a day or so, and eventually the inspiration comes back. Maybe I should make a habit out of remembering what triggered it back into action. Might come in handy next time.

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