Probably a spin-off of teacher burnout, but it is real and gives me the same feeling I used to get when I took off my leg warmers backstage before entering stage left en pointe – ice in my spine and quick contracting of the gut. I suppose because it brings with it the pressure to perform well, to maintain a hard won reputation, to keep up the standard.
And there’s also that panic that one no longer has any more to say – or certainly nothing of “great pith and moment”, or even any pith and moment at all.
I have no idea what has caused this or what to do about it. I remember when I taught the dreaded Creative Writing class to First Language English speakers. “Just write one word,” I’d say airily, “anything at all, and that will lead to the next word and so on until you have a sentence and the page is no longer blank.” I remember staring at the final exam paper in my Honours year at University. The question was based on a quote from “Much Ado About Nothing” and I had not a clue where to start. I followed my own advice and wrote one word down – for some deeply mysterious reason, I wrote the word, “Fun”. Where it led I can no longer remember, but I passed the paper and got my Honours.
And now…… it doesn’t work. The one thing I could rely on, the torrent of words and ideas, the passionate desire to share it all, the need to tell everyone is ash………