I had the best laid plans to write an essay on some of the things Azar Nafisi writes about in her fantastic introduction to The Republic of the Imagination (still reading and still enjoying!) because I have lately found echoes in other things I have been reading. Unfortunately I just haven’t had the time to spend to think about it and bring it all together yet. And here forms a dilemma.

I might have the time this coming weekend. But I might not. Do I wait and see?

The more time that passes between when I had the urge to write solely about the introduction and some of its ideas, the less enthusiastic I become about it. As if it is somehow dated even though it is not. Really it is a matter of being distracted from the original idea and pulled in other directions.

And of course the longer the distance between the original idea and its execution, the more I begin to doubt I could really write something worthwhile. If I had just managed to dash something off when I had thought about it first, I would not have had time to dwell on whether I could do any kind of justice to it. My inner critic (whose name is Zelda by the way and who can be a real bitch sometimes) has had too much time to whisper in my ear and make me self-conscious about what I wanted to say.

All of this — distractions, time, Zelda — swirls around in my head and creates a great confusion and a growing resistance to even wanting to try to write anything about the introduction. I have turned it into something bigger than I had intended, something more than “just a blog post.” Then emotions start to get stirred in too, why not? A big slice of uncertainty, a couple dashes of guilt, a pinch of disappointment, a flake of bravado. It makes quite a gumbo!

Things like this are why I don’t ever try to write anything besides blog posts. Sure, I consider it from time to time, but it never goes beyond that because gumbo.

Now after this little confession what do I do? Do I try to write something this weekend, results be damned? Or do I let go and move on? Part of me suspects this little, whatever this is, is an attempt to keep myself from moving on. Also, it is me trying to make an excuse for moving on.

I don’t talk much about my own writing on this blog and now you can see why. I am completely mental about it. I know a lot of people feel that way about their writing but we are all special in our own mental minefields, aren’t we?

So will there be a post next week about literature and imagination and censorship and culture? I don’t know. I’ll have to wait and see who wins this one, me or Zelda and the gumbo.

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