So what the hell happened? I have been asking myself that a lot over the past couple weeks. Things were going great I was writing regularly, I quit smoking, after twenty-six years, I finally quit. To be completely honest, it was easier than I thought it would be. These are all good things, so what happened? I just hit a wall- at full fucking speed! I lost my focus and came up with numerous excuses to not write. So I have not written, at least not anything meaningful in almost a month. It was not just the writing that was suffering, it was my life in general, I was angry and frustrated, but at nothing in particular.
I used the excuse that I smoked a lot when I wrote as a reason to not write, but that was not the real reason. I have known since before I hit the 30000 word mark that my story Destination Dayton would be much better if it was written first-person, but I remained stubborn, I didn’t want to throw away all I had accomplished. I kept plugging away, but to me even what sounded well written, did not sound right. Finally someone gave me an honest review and it put me out of my misery. My story was not good, it was not horrible, but it could be so much more and the only way to do that was to start over. That was the wall I ran into and instead of just removing the wall and beginning anew, I made the wall into an obstacle that was beyond my ability to get by. I scratched and clawed at it, I threw tantrums and that damn wall just got larger and more daunting.
I am not going to beat myself up over this; quitting smoking definitely has had an effect, I mean it is something I have done for more than three-quarters of my life. Ask anyone that has quit, smoking becomes a big part of every aspect of your life and when you remove that, it takes awhile to get everything back in order. Remaining a non-smoker is the most important thing. I didn’t want to be stressed or put myself in a position that I might light up again and as stated above I lit up way too often when I wrote. The more I tried protecting myself from stress the more of a target I became for it. It really peaked in the middle of last week, everything, and I mean every-possible-thing did not go as planned on Wednesday. From work, to the grocery store to the fast food place, everything seemed to be working against both my wife and I and it sucked. That was the day I realized you cannot dig yourself out of rut.
When I am in a rut, I always seem to try to dig my way out; the rut gets deeper and wider and seems more inescapable. Negativity seems to flow down both sides of my self-made rut and I just keep spreading it around. Sending out a negative vibe brings about a negative response and deeper and deeper the rut goes, where it stops, the fuck if I know. At a fast food place, my wife and hesitantly decided to go to, figuring the way the day was going we would likely end up with food poisoning, we ordered and waited in our truck. We waited and waited, I could feel this rage boiling over in me, I just wanted to scream at someone or hit something. After about ten minutes I see the girl coming out with our food, I jump out of the truck. My wife asks me, “Are you going to cause trouble,” I don’t answer. While I had been waiting, I reached the conclusion that there was only one way to turn things around and I was going to start now. So as the girl came out, I opened the door for her and the stress on her face was quite visible, I say, “Are you the only one in there?” in as sympathetic a voice as I can muster. She says, “Ya, I am the only one working behind the counter,” and she hands me our food. I say, “I’m sorry I hope your night gets better.” She says, “thanks,” and she seemed relieved that I didn’t start freaking out about how long it had taken.
With that one simple gesture things did start to turn around, not instantly, but I realized that I had to let go of the negative and instead be positive and try to be selfless and not selfish. I also now have an idea about how to proceed with Destination Dayton, which had really been troubling me. I have also started rereading Dynamic Thought, by Henry Thomas Hamblin, the book helps remind me to think positive and helps me focus my mind on my writing. Life is long and I am sure to encounter more ruts, I just hope I can remember sooner that digging in and spreading the negative will never help and realize that the best way out of a rut is to fill it with positivity.