It’s raining. And whenever it rains it feels easier to write. So I’m forcing myself to sit down, because lately, the words haven’t come as easy. I have this recurring nightmare type of thing, although it doesn’t come at night–it’s more a dull anxiety beyond the curtain in my brain- that one day I’ll wake up, and have nothing left to say. Nothing left to write. None of my ideas will be new. Whatever creative juices that used to run through me will have all run dry and I’ll be sitting there, blank pages in front of me, and have nothing. left. to say. Luckily, that day is not today. I have some stuff to say I guess.
The funny thing about my little recurring nightmare, is that ironically, the only way to avoid it is to keep on writing. The longer I go without doing it, the harder it becomes. Sometimes I cringe at what I’ve written, and I’ve deleted entire pages of text that just didn’t seem to “do it” for me. But this is my art form and I care about it. It isn’t really a hobby I do on the side anymore. It is my principal work for now and once you’ve come to care this much about what you do, you really have to nurture it or it will fade. Like a marriage of sorts, or any relationship at that. The interesting part of it is that continuing to produce only gives way to more creativity and newer ideas. Not the other way around. It’s not some finite jar you reach the bottom of. My nightmare is possible I suppose, but more likely from me having abandoned the work, not from literally running out of ideas. If the universe is infinite than it’s true, our ideas can’t run dry.
I have to remind myself pretty regularly that whether the words come easy or hard, to just keep going. If you give in, well then what kind of a writer are you? I think beyond your final product, being an artist is in the way you live and in how much you give of yourself. Not just when inspiration comes but also when it doesn’t. There is debate in the literary world on whether or not writers block actually exists. I can say that without a doubt, there are times when it’s easy and times when it’s alarmingly difficult, but I think the point is that you just keep plugging away. It was Picasso who said that inspiration exists, but it has to find you working first. You can reject entire pages later if you need to, and there’s no harm in discerning good work from bad work even if a great majority of it is bad. It’s nothing you can hurry or fake or force. You just have to keep working humbly and the right words always find their way out. Think of Michelangelo sculpting his masterpieces like David. He said it was his job to carve away the excess, chip away at everything that wasn’t David until David emerged.
I know that the worst I can do now is let a gift pass me by. In stillness I know that being capable of writing is not something I own but something that was given to me. And I feel that by not putting it to use is letting someone down somewhere. I fight lethargy. I fight distraction. I fight excuses. It’s been a while since I’ve really sat down and put my words to use. And I have to remind myself everyday that very easily I can let all this slip by me. It takes commitment and participation on my end and sometimes I actually have to talk to myself out loud and force myself to move things through me. I do this because it’s not about me. It’s about something bigger and longer-lasting than me. And I don’t know what that is yet. But I know I have to keep at it. And I guess on this rainy Thursday, I am being reminded in more ways than one to keep going. Keep writing. And someday the pieces of it all will begin to make sense. Carl Jung said the details of his life would only make sense in the context of the centuries. Maybe that’s the ticket.
Health, Happiness, Work.
9 thoughts on “Tired Writer Fighter.”
Even if you begin to type using only wingdings (which can actually be fun), I will still love every little character of it and it will be AWESOME
I find when I want to write, yet have nothing to write about – the best thing is to go take an innocent walk. Not to look for an idea – but I can guarantee you that every single time I go into the world I find something that humors me, annoys me, gets on my nerves, or I love. The world is full of material just waiting to be written about :-)
I struggle too at times to write and I worry I too will lose it. I literally have for years at a time…couldn’t even write in my journal or a letter but then I force myself to sit down and eventually I write. I know I have sucked recently…having to force each word on the page but as the saying goes “this too shall pass”. Thanks for sharing and I for one LOVE reading what you write
Another amazingly well-written piece, Mary C!!! Thank-you for sharing, even when you don’t think you’re at your best! Sending cyber hugs & love your way! Donna
I read somewhere that this guy wrote but never threw out his pages. After revisiting them, the ones he thought were bad were actually the same as the good ones. Quit deleting! In a month, you may not be able to discern the difference.
That was impressive
Thank you for the inspiring words. They really helped to motivate me.
Hey there, I came across your blog the other week and I really enjoy it. I enjoy your humor and your honesty!
This post reminds me of a blog I read last week by one of my favorite authors, Donald Miller. He expresses a lot of the same fears you do here, and I thought it might be an encouragement to you:
I look forward to reading more of your thoughts.
wow this is deep and pure ! Love the way your feelings took the shape of words….Very well written ! Love your blog xx