Commentary and Philosophy Non-Fiction posted August 16, 2017

This work has reached the exceptional level
Writer Burnout


by Auto-Manic

When everything dries up, and the visual connotations no longer relate to the sensory receptors for wordy description, it's time to pack it in for a while.

Late August and the light is changing, and with it so does the inklings of something, anything more. There's got to be more.

Three fly rods and a dusty ol' pack have slept long enough in the corner. The camp box and bug-out bag have been watching me too. The truck has new tires, her oil changed and the camper snugged down; she's been a collaborator in all this.

The stories won't come, burned out on editing, can't see my own rag-tag gaggle of mistakes; everything sounds redundant and pathetically wishy-washy. The imaginative drive seems to be parked in my driveway, waiting patiently to be heading somewhere, out there, miles away where the sounds are subtle, the smells tell a story of fall, and tying a fly becomes an exercise of rote memory while the sun edges into some canyon, turning the tops of firs and pine trees into golden pipe cleaners.

I need to be sitting in some cheap fold up chair, entertaining the anxious first sip of coffee that's percolating over a small morning campfire, where every crack and small exploding ember echoes in the crisp stillness of a new morning.

To take a nap in the afternoon, pack for a pillow, fly rod leaning against some large tree being lulled to sleep by the continuous run of water and the forest's earthy smells. I want to be awakened from a dreamless afternoon nap by a large Blue Jay, squawking overhead, or a red squirrel hanging upside down barking at me. Exhilarated again by the brief moment when you don't know where the hell you are.

Where time is useless. Judgment becomes instinctual and the hours in the day are counted in the footsteps toward something never seen before. Where the fishing becomes hunting, creeping toward the edge of a back eddy in the tall sedges, quietly watching the trout face upstream, lazily waiting for a snack to come their way.

Evenings, where the sun has traced its path and the canyon shadows visibly creep skyward. That time in the evening when things turn orange and pink, standing knee deep in a trout stream making that one last looping cast like a gambling addict with one more bet. It's when the water turns silvery, like liquid mercury rushing by you, and knowing you have some untold distance to make upstream to camp before darkness descends. Still, one more cast.

It's the heavy sigh seeing camp on the other side of the stream when you were certain you passed it, twice, and doubled back once. And the hunger that rolls in your belly knowing you turned back fifteen fish that got fooled by a tiny fly you tied.

Maybe it's the cold canned stew, flour tortilla, beer chilled to the temp of the nearby stream that brings back the creative want to write again. Maybe it's the anxiousness of another day without a plan, and the sensory overload of just being.

Truck's packed. I'll catch up when I get back.
Later friends.


Burned out to the point where nothing comes together and the frustration of everything becomes tedious and overbearing. Everything sounds like crap. The last thing on the way out: empty the waste basket full of wadded, fist-size paper of non-lucid rambling bullshit.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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