When I was in 7th grade my teacher (who was kind of an ass hole… but that’s beside the point) said that men just have less words inside them than women. And by the end of the school day he would sometimes say he was out of words and stop chatting with us, or start giving one word answers. He was probably just a tired teacher, fed up with 7th graders. But what he said has totally stuck with me – actually a lot of what he said has stuck with me, this is only a tiny portion.
Less words, and sometimes you can run out. Run out of words. Imagine that? I used to wonder what that felt like. Used to. As in, now I do.
I’ve been writing a lot. A lot a lot a lot. Surrounded with words, reaching for words, spewing and thinking and breathing and chewing on words. And now I find it impossible to return emails, to commit too much time on things I don’t HAVE to do, or to schedule myself for one more activity, or concentrate on something I don’t have any room for (Kamel telling me about why certain graphics look a certain way in some video game – sorry honey, no room at the Inn). I can’t do it. It’s made me a terrible long distance friend. I keep thinking it’s going to work itself out, it’s going to slow down next week, the week after. But so far no. Things pop up, I’m still scrambling, words start flying out of my body faster than I can regenerate them. I’m working on my word-stamina.
And in a real sense, I’m out of them. Even as I’m typing this I find myself skipping words. I read over a sentence and I realize I just haven’t written a “to” or an ending “ing”. It feels like I have, I don’t remember not writing those things, I’m actually surprised that I didn’t. Why wouldn’t I write an “ing”? That makes zero sense. And now I know what it feels like to be in word debt. The repo-man just walks right through my sentences and takes words back that I haven’t paid for. That’s what it feels like. I swear I write the words that I’m thinking in my mind, and someone sweeps up behind me and steals them from the page. It’s exhausting, let me tell ya.
I need to figure out how to be more effective at replenishing. At this point I’m grasping at straws. There’s a drought over here. (Also… how many more metaphors can I use? Sigh. Classic coping mechanism for wordless writers.)