I haven’t written in several days because I have writer’s block. It’s something I’ve never experienced before, something I always thought was just a wall you could push through. I’d heard about ‘creative juices drying up’ and ‘needing to find the inspiration’ but seeing the vast amount of injustice around me and a seemingly never-ending supply of cuss words, well, I was doing just fine.
Until a few weeks ago. Suddenly the will to write vanished. I’ve started many posts, on immigration, post-conviction remedies, recent awful decisions, etc. I sit down at the laptop and write a few lines, maybe even a few paragraphs and then I hit delete. It doesn’t sound right, it sounds contrived and stilted. Recently, I bought the domain www.notguiltynoway.com in hopes that maybe a change of scenery would bring back the will to write. I had dinner with my college English professor. She suggested I lay off twitter (which I have) and read more (I’ve started doing that too). Again, all to no avail, yet.
Here’s the problem – well, it’s a many faceted issue. First, most of what I’ve said has been said before. A comment on a prior post summed up my posts quite well – rant and rave at the system and then collapse into a heap from exhaustion after that bout of wailing. And, it’s not just that I’ve said it, it’s that everyone else has too. Look, a really important case came down in the Supreme Court yesterday, but by today, it’s old news. Ten thousand people have written about it, and most can do a much better job of summarizing the case and making it accessible to the readers. So, why rehash it? If I were to, here’s what I’d say: Michigan v. Bryant is a shitty, shitty decision. If you want to know more, read Rants of a Public Defender, Gamso for the Defense, and Simple Justice. See, you don’t need Not Guilty to tell you about that decision when many others have already done it for you.
Second, I’m busy. I’m trying to grow a business, not completely neglect my family and also try to do some decent legal work at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, blogging is important to me. But at the end of the day I have to decide if I’m going to devote some time to my family, play words with friends, or try to come up with strings of words that hang together in some cohesive fashion – well, guess which one loses. The idea of having to write causes a level of panic. Not full fledged crap your pants before trial panic, but a low level “God, I really should, but what will I say?” and when I fail to come up with anything I just get another bowl of ice cream and start a new game of words with friends.
Another huge issue is that the topics I want to write about all come from real life situations, current or recent clients. After all, truth is frequently more intriguing than fiction, at least in our line of work. But clearly that’s not something I can do. So I go through the day thinking “I should write about this, how would I do that and not divulge a client confidence?” and the jumps, twists and turns I’d have to make to do that are exhausting, and there goes another day with no post.
Finally, and most honestly, I don’t know how much of myself I want to continue to expose to all of you. If you scroll through the blog, you’ll see that most is personal opinion, the rants and the vents. The rest is personal, my quest to have kids and my move from New York to Maryland to Virginia. Staying home then being back at work. All of it opens me up to you and I don’t know how many of you I can trust anymore. It was, as I’ve said a million times before, much easier when I had four readers. Now with about a thousand times that many I’ve lost a little control over where the content of this blog goes, and I can’t even fool myself into thinking I’ve got control over how people interpret what I write.
So, there you have it, dear readers. Wah wah wah. I’ve got writer’s block and you know why. I’m going to keep plugging away and trying to write something of substance, but I make no promises.