That Familiar Crack

I don’t know why I even hesitate to pick up a pen or set my fingers upon a keyboard.

I never regret it when I’m finished.  Even if what I’ve written is total crap, there’s satisfaction in having put words on a page.  A certain kind of alignment of the spirit in having successfully transformed the firing of neurons in my brain into something someone else can read.  There’s a thrill in the possibility of setting off fireworks in someone else’s brain.  Even if in the end what I’ve written is so terrible and unworthy of reading that I want to burn it, bury it and have a cow poop on it just so no one ever gets their hands on it, I’m still happy to have sat down and written.

And still.

There is always this arresting hesitation born of angst that takes hold when I’m about to sit down and write.  Like if I pick up this pen the world might be set on fire, but not in a good way.  Or if I click that first letter on the keyboard I might never be able to stop.  Which in my opinion is not a bad way to die.  In fact, it would be sort of awesome to be able to say I died whilst on a literary tirade, but also kind of a stumbling block to the other goals in my life if I died so prematurely.  So there’s this hesitation to begin writing.

Of course,

I do it anyway.

On good days.

On you’re going to sit your butt in this chair and write even if it is literally the last thing you do, days.  On the world is a mystical place and you have to hurry up and get it down on paper, days.  On the you’ve set this deadline for yourself and you’re going to meet it or you basically deserve to be dead, days.  Notice how those days that smell like death came twice.  They come a lot more often than the mystical ones.

But still, I write.

Once, I thought I could let the angst win out and watch my writing life evaporate on the pavement in front of me, like so much catapulted saliva.  Slowly it swirled into the sky.  I watched it with both eager anticipation and terror.  Was this really happening?  Was it working?  Is all it takes some patient laziness?  My small pond became a puddle, and it soon was small enough to fit in the palm of one hand.

Then,

it was gone.

Or so I thought.

I turned around and began walking away, ready to throw a party or surrender myself to the nearest volcano.  To this day I don’t know which.  Maybe both.  In any case, something made me stop, turn around, and stoop real close to the ground.  There on the pavement was a crack.  And from that crack trembled a solitary drop of moisture, stubborn and hopeful.  I crouched there squinting at it for a long time.  Days, weeks, months.  I was watching to see if it too would eventually join it’s brothers in the unforgiving sky, but it didn’t.

Or it wouldn’t.

I’m not sure which of these either.

All I know is that no matter how long I stared at it, that droplet did not fade away.  And it was then that I knew in my gut that no matter how I long I watched, it would never go away.  There was something deep beneath the ground ensuring its existence.  Something annoying, and sure ,and as stubborn as me.  It let me know that there was no amount of running or hiding or overwhelming ray of angst that would burn that droplet away.

Ever since then, I pick up the pen and set my fingers on the keyboard because I have to.  Or at least I might as well.  Anytime I get too anxious about what I’m doing with this writing thing or why, I just squint down at that familiar crack.  Even if it’s too deep down at the bottom of the spring for me to see.

~LDA

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Driving Your Destiny

This one time…

I stopped writing for a really long time just to see what it would do to me. (And I mean a REALLY long time. An entire year and change.) I did it to see if maybe I didn’t love writing as much as I thought I did.  I wanted to see whether I was worthy of picking up a pen (or tapping away at a keyboard).

If it wasn’t my calling, I felt I had no business dabbling in it.

Out of a sort of respect for the craft I vowed that if I didn’t feel a sort of supernatural push to write, if I didn’t feel compelled beyond reason at some point, if I didn’t have a defining moment where I felt the very flesh from my bones would peel away and leave me a broken corpse if I didn’t write, then I wouldn’t ever seriously pick up a pen ever again. 

That was one of the worst decisions I ever made in my life.

All it proved was that just like anyone else, my motivation and inspiration wells were capable of being dried up and I could become a boring old worse than average Joe who was wasting potential.  Too much of the world is.

It made me bitter and insecure that I wasn’t feeling some supernatural urge to vomit out an entire novel in one night.

Why weren’t the clouds parting?

Why wasn’t a great booming voice from the sky resounding, “My child, it is time to return to your notebook and recommence the penning of history’s greatest literature! You have arrived at a critical creative state at long last!”

Where was the convictive divine splendor?

If I waited long enough surely it would show up. Thunderclouds, writing in the sky and all, right?

Wrong.

I felt pulls and little nudges of inklings that I ought to get back to my craft. I still jotted down the little spontaneous spurts of inspiration I had while passively riding the bus home in the evening or in the dead of night.

But I was being stubborn.

If God wanted me to write, he would tell me so. And he would tell me my way too.

Well, lemme tell you something.

God’s got all day. In fact, he’s got all eternity. That’s an awful long time to wait for writing on the wall and if you’re smart you’ll realize you can’t out-stubborn the guy who made mules and Steve Jobs. (They get that impressive head strength from somewhere.)

Eventually I realized I had to stop waiting and take action. Benjamin Franklin didn’t harness the power of electricity by twiddling his thumbs. He took his ‘lil kite and strut outside.

I’ve recently bounced back and started grabbing my destiny by the horns for myself as I’ve learned that things don’t happen to you, you make them happen.  I’m re-realizing that one’s creative flow needs to be nurtured. That river of ideas needs to be coaxed into flowing freely and powerfully before it can regularly break down a few dams of setbacks on its own.

Because of my foolishness, my creative river has trickled down to a stream and I’m paying for all the debris that’s gotten in the way.

Everybody has their calling and sometimes we let tiny nagging doubts get in the way of us reaching out and capturing them. Don’t be stupid like me and stunt your growth. Push forward and bust those conscientious “boo hoos” in the balls.

Whatever your destiny may be. Be it computer programming or cartooning, or writing or football..

It’s called your calling because YOU call the shots, not because you’re sitting there waiting to be called on.

Regrettably Delayed,

~LDA

-~- Welcome Fellow Derp

If you’ve ever had one of those moments where you realized you’d done something so stupid that you just had to laugh at yourself, you’re in the right place.

You know…

One of those moments where you had to facepalm yourself just hard enough to verify that there was actually a brain rattling around in that skull of yours.

Or maybe just one of those moments where you felt like you had something interesting to add to this conversation we call life, but were too afraid to share for fear it wouldn’t come out the way you wanted.

If you’ve at all found yourself feeling like any of the above, I think this is just the little corner of cyberspace for you.

Why did I name this blog derp2derp?

Well, in order for me to answer that question I should probably clarify the meaning of the word derp, JUST in case some of you reading this don’t already know it.

  Sooo…

What does the word derp mean? 

Here’s a couple definitions:

Courtesy of Urban Dictionary:

derpy-awkward or embarrassing, especially pertaining to a person:

“Man, that guy is so awkward!”
“Yeah, he’s really derpy.”

Courtesy of Myself:

herp derp (or simply derp)-a person who is doing or has done something unusually dopey and/or laughable:

“Ouch! I just walked into the sliding door because I thought it was open.”

“Hahaha.  You’re such a herp derp.”

(the terms “herp derp” and “herpaderp” have also been known to be used in rage comics in order to substitute dialogue)

SO, WHY THE SILLY NAME derp2derp?

If we’re honest with ourselves, we all know that we have moments that bring out our inner derp and this blog is a way for me to share some of those moments with you.  I find that my inner derp surfaces quite a lot (probably more than I’d like) and I figured if I’m going to be plagued with the disease of herpaderpitis, I might as well do something productive with it.  From failing at holding simple conversations to everyday ruminations about the value of life, I’d like to give you a chance to both laugh at my silly everyday mistakes and hopefully, share some of your own derpy stories in return.  I’d also like to share my thoughts on various matters and hear what you guys think yourselves.  It doesn’t matter if you think my thoughts are off the wall bogus or genuinely interesting.  I’d like to turn this into a space where everyone is free to share their thoughts.  I’d like to hear from you.

Life’s too short to waste time being embarrassed by failure.

Why wince at failure when you can laugh?

Let’s derp it up.

~LDA