The King of the White Chip

I’m trying to remember now if I’ve ever mentioned My Blueberry Nights, the Kar-wai Wong film I absolutely adore on the blog before – I’m sure I must have at some point, it is one of my all-time favourites. While musing over my writing, or should I say lack of writing, a particular scene came into my head.

Arnie played by David Straithairn in My Blueberry Nights (2007)

Arnie is explaining to Elizabeth about his sobriety chips. He has several white chips, which he tells her, participants at the AA meeting take to demonstrate their intention to remain sober. If at any point you break away from that commitment, you are required to collect a new white chip. He calls himself the king of the white chip.

That’s how I find myself recently, with the best of intentions and with flashes of ideas or inspiration, but that’s as far as it goes. I wouldn’t even necessarily say I make excuses for myself, but I just don’t have the drive anymore. Once upon a time I would use up any free time I had writing but now, it doesn’t seem to be a priority anymore.

Maybe in my mind I’ve given up on the dream. Maybe I’m just so exhausted from the 9-5 and all the things I should be doing, that there’s no room anymore for this. Maybe this is the point where I have to draw the line, maybe it’s not.

One thing I do know for certain is the struggle is real, it’s daily and very draining.

The point of this blog was to stare myself directly in the face and try to stir some emotion on this topic, to try to once again figure out how much this means to me and what I’m willing to sacrifice in order to get it. I’m sick of the white chips. I’m sick of coming up with ideas and never executing them.  I even contemplated NanoWriMo a week or so back in order to get Wendy’s House up and running…but it’s already November, and once again I have missed the boat.

Why do I do this? Do I spread myself too thinly? Do I have unrealistic goals or expectations that I will never satisfy? Do I set myself up for failure? I don’t know.

This summer just gone I was introduced to the music of a band called Stornoway. One particular song, Get Low, brings me immense comfort at the moment. “Some of the time you’re gonna get low, dreaming high.”

Writing this blog has helped me draw one conclusion at least, has helped me come up with one plan- exploration, discovery. I suppose if I’ve lost something I need to go and try to find it. I shouldn’t quit, or should I say, I won’t quit. But I’m not quite sure how to carry on either.

*Image taken from my personal copy of My Blueberry Nights


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