All Dried Up: Struggling with Writer’s Block in Phoenix

Creative Writing in Phoenix, Arizona Superbowl XLIX

I sit in the middle of downtown Phoenix one week before the Super Bowl XLIX, surrounded by football fans and out-of-towners. I should have a lot to write about by now, as it has been a month since my last blog post, but I find myself still pretty much at a loss of words for Phoenix.

Did my creativity dry up with the desert?

Aside from chasing sunsets, I don’t do much in Phoenix. I bought a bike and I ride it to coffee shops and I do my work and I ride my bike home and I head to the roof and I watch the sunset. It’s getting harder and harder to wake up early, especially as my freelance writer lifestyle doesn’t require it. If it weren’t for all of the sunshine and exercise, I might even consider myself depressed here.

But sitting here during Super Bowl week is suddenly opening my eyes as to why I might be feeling this drought of inspiration. It’s because the influx of out-of-towners has made no difference in the feel of the city except for crowding the streets and increasing traffic. What I mean to say is, everyone in Phoenix seems to be from out of town.

Unsurprisingly, Phoenix is a popular spot for midwesterners to head for the winter. And in a way, that’s all Phoenix feels like – a sunshine spot for the winter. So aside from the weather, I don’t know what else to say about living here.

I went on an art walk and nothing jumped out at me. I’ve taken my camera around and aside from fiery sky views, everything else appears banal. The Native American reservations are filled with casinos. The downtown area is empty except for highly successful 20-somethings, who been placed here temporarily on a work assignment, taking their lunch breaks. There is no vibrancy of permanent culture on the streets.

So I end this post with the determination to find more culture here. I signed up for a photography class. I know that Phoenix is a huge police state (and you can definitely see it on the streets), and I’ve applied to volunteer with women’s shelters and immigration aid programs to make my time here something more than a few months of sunshine. Stay tuned.