Writer’s Block or Losing my Voice

Waiting for a ThawI have writer’s block for the first time in my life. So, I thought I’d write about it! I am a pretty talkative person and I usually don’t have any trouble writing it down either. In fact, writing something out is better for me because I will think about it a little longer before I say it. Sometimes, I don’t even know what I really think until my fingers hit the keyboard. Writing helps me sort things out, to practice a little introspection, instead of letting the words hit my tongue from my brain like a gumball machine.

It’s odd to me at this particular juncture of my life, when I just finished a book, I should be stuck for words. What? Did I use them all up or something? When I get stuck, I get analytical and after days of asking myself for answers I have come to a conclusion. I think I temporarily lost my “voice”. For writers, a “voice” is their own unique and personal train of thought, the style, or way they write as well as, what they prefer to write about.

I am an astrologer but I am really more in my element just contemplating human nature in general or just nature, period. I am also an author and we all know what that means: marketing. Yech. These days, publishers want every author to have a ready-made audience. Forget taking any chances with anyone or even trying to understand what people want to read this year and why. You must have it all ahead of time: a blog, Twitter, Facebook, Words with Friends, OK maybe not Words with Friends. So here is my blog, but I don’t want to write about astrology all the time. While it is true, that after 46 years of studying and practicing astrology, I pretty much measure the world with its yardstick, it doesn’t mean that is the only thing that interests me. Life interests me, all of it, and the why of it and that is what I want to write about. Besides, most people aren’t familiar with the jargon we use in astrology and they don’t need to be in order to understand what I talk/write about. We all have the same kinds of questions and problems in life; they are just dressed up differently. Astrology simply gives me a more precise language with which to address our human habits. It also has a wonderful way of organizing our idiosyncrasies into richly-layered categories that allow for deeper dissections and therefore: study. I think my writer’s block came up when I started to think I had to write for publishers and not for me, or you. I hit the wall of “the influence of others” (more on that another time). I thought that somehow, having written a book I had to think and behave differently. I fell off my home base and my muse packed her bags. I may think that someone else does it better than I do and I should be more like them, but I am who I am and for good or bad, I can’t write any differently. It just doesn’t work. From here on in, I better remember that.

A Winter’s Tale

Overcoming Personal Barriers or How I Spent the Winter of 2013-14

It’s been a very harsh winter for most of us. The nightly news reports are full of weather-related disasters and the people dealing with them. Winter in the north always hands out its share of challenges, especially to those who are unprepared for the reality.

I have been away from this blog for a long time.  I set it aside temporarily, to publish my first book. I decided to self-publish this tome in every sense of the word. I did everything myself: the artwork, the cover, the formatting, you name it. I had no idea just how hard this would turn out to be…for me, that is. I am a “big picture” kind of person and I hate picky little details. I hate forms of all kinds, and the only thing I hate more than reading instructions is following them. Needless to say, this is a big problem if you want to publish a DIY book. It figures that I am also in the middle of my second Saturn Return. For those of you who don’t speak astrologese it doesn’t matter, you’ll get this because we all go through it; astrology just has a name for it: Saturn. Saturn is the planet that rules reality as we know it. When under Saturn’s influence you have to deal, deal, deal with the set rules of the situation. No skipping steps, no cheat sheets, and definitely, no cutting in line. Not coincidentally, Saturn, and its sign, Capricorn, preside over winter as well.

 Wherever we live, there comes a time for all of us, when a certain harsh reality sets in. We are beset with rules we cannot break and duties we cannot shirk whether we want to or not. We feel trapped and for the moment, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. It’s hard. There are days I’ve felt like screaming. Ok, I did.

Saturn challenges your authority. Who is the author of your life? You, or something/someone else? Do you have enough knowledge? (For me, the answer was no) Do you have enough fortitude? (Um, maybe that’s all I have) Do you want it enough to pay the price? (I think so) Are you prepared? (Oh, heck no)

 How to get through this? “Play the breaks”. If you are relating to this entry, than that is a Plimsouls song worth listening to. “Play the breaks” is also a great expression that asks us to basically, look for the silver lining in the thundercloud over our head. If you’re stuck in a box what is the up side? There must be something good about the situation, though we may have to look really hard to see it. After my initial breakdown, I did discover some perks. After having to learn through some ridiculous trial and error, I learned to focus, to slow down, to work hard, and to have patience. (Ok, still working on that one) I feel I have been tested in the fires of hell but now I have a measurement of how strong I truly am and what I am capable of. Things I couldn’t seem to finish, I have finished. Completion is everywhere in my life, even coming into some of my previously fragmented and frustrating dreams. What a rush to feel your own strength. Though, there is no doubt that this has been torture, I am inhaling my “new and improved” authority in, right through the pain.

As Thomas Paine said: “These are the times that try [wo]men’s souls” and there hasn’t been a lot I could do about it except keep putting one foot in the front of the other and make the most of it until it is over. And it will be over; we all know that, like winter, hard times cannot last.    

 For those who may be interested, my book, Earth Rise: The Case for Studying and Using Earth in Astrology is out in all electronic reading formats (Kindle and smashwords) and will be out in paperback POD (print-on-demand) through createspace.com, when I get the dang cover issue fixed, hopefully, March of 2014. P.S. Arrugh!