1. My brain usually does that moving-a-mile-a-minute thing and I get an empty feeling when it slows down. Sometimes the empty feeling is fantastic, like when I’m floating in a pool under the sun. Is it a very suburban-childhood thing to feel a sense of calm and order whenever I float in a swimming pool?
  2. Sometimes the empty feeling is terrible, when I have to be writing something.
  3. The New York Times recently published a piece by Colson Whitehead in which he wrote 11 rules for the art of writing. An excerpt: “Rule No. 7: Writer’s block is a tool — use it. When asked why you haven’t produced anything lately, just say, ‘I’m blocked.’ Since most people think that writing is some mystical process where characters ‘talk to you’ and you can hear their voices in your head, being blocked is the perfect cover for when you just don’t feel like working.”
  4. But what about when you do feel like working and you can’t?
  5. When I’m writing, I listen to one song over and over so that the mood in my writing-brain stays consistent. Consequently, my “Top 25 Songs Most Played” is constantly shifting around.
  6. At some point, you don’t even hear the music anymore, you just feel the thing it made you feel, which is about as close as I get to experiencing emotional meaning without the filter of language.
  7. I hope that doesn’t make me sound under-sexed.
  8. I’m really worried about what you think of me right now.
  9. That feeling passed.
  10. Click here to listen to this song I was listening to when I wrote this. I don’t mean that as a punch line, I’m just being honest.

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