Imagined Action

Lately, I’ve been revisiting an idea I wrote about some time ago: that there is only one moment. Visiting this is how I’m overcoming my … writer’s block?

No—it’s not as much writer’s block as it is writer’s atrophy.

I’ve been very busy these past few months. I left myself very little time for writing, and even less motivation.

Now that I’ve finally made the time and sat back down, I find it incredibly difficult. Once upon a time, I could sit down for a few hours and a hammer out a few thousand words. Now … a few hours of writing means only a few words on the page; it means a lot of staring at a computer monitor; it means more frustration than progress.

There’s a common distinction made in the writing world: there are those who enjoy writing, and those who enjoy having written.

I fear that my atrophied hands have swindled my brain into making me the latter. I can look back at all the content on this blog, or at my book and think “Yes, I am a writer, for I have written.”

Now though, staring at my laptop makes me feel like less and less of a writer.

This is where The Only Moment comes into play.

My atrophied hands are causing me to imagine action. I can imagine myself writing. I’m there, at the keyboard, hammering out word after word, limited only by the speed of my hands. Blog post after blog post; short story after short story; chapter after chapter my hands hammer on.

I can feel the satisfaction that comes with another finished project. I can feel the deep and profound thoughts that I’ve infused into my writing. I can feel the imagery and themes leaping off the page with such creative beauty.

Meanwhile, my atrophied hands say, “See how wonderful it is?! We’ve created a masterpiece!”

That’s when I have to crack my knuckles. That’s when I have to take my hands through the painful bending motions that break the rust from their surface, to free their joints from the deposits of laziness and non-creativity.

I … my hands … we! only have this one moment. All of the writing I can see in the future, all of those completed works, all of that satisfaction—it’s all in the future.

The future doesn’t exist though. By default, neither does anything that I find there.

The future is my imagined action. It’s my projection. Therefore, I may not attribute to myself anything which I have not already done.

And with this realization, I can feel fluids moving in my joints—I can feel my fingers free up. My thoughts begin to show something reminiscent of fluidity. My words begin to look like writing.

This has become a daily struggle. I am a creature of habit, as we all are. So every night, I press the reset, falling back to the habits of atrophied hands. And every morning, I must see a bright and promising future dissolve beneath the harshness of reality and the illusion of time.

I will continue this daily meditation though until my hands have formed a new habit. I will continue every day until my action is no longer imagined, but realized.

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