Having spent the last three and a half weeks in training, I couldn’t wait to get back to my writing routine. The whole time I was in training (it was intense and demanding), I didn’t write much other than my Morning Pages. I tried to write or edit, but getting up at 4:00 am for a class that started at 7:00 am took more out of me than I had anticipated. When I got home I barely had enough energy to study, and certainly didn’t have the necessary focus to write.
Now the training is behind me (although my internal clock hasn’t fully adjusted), and writing isn’t coming easily. There’s a certain restlessness hanging over me that I can’t shake. Or maybe it’s that being “away” from my writing so long has me doubting my talent as a writer despite past successes. I’m not sure. What I do know is this: I feel stuck and need to find a way to get moving again.
When I feel stuck, like I have lost my footing, I immediately reach for Julia Cameron’s Walking in This World: The Practical Art of Creativity. You see, for me feeling stuck is icky, like I’ve let myself become a victim. I’m desperate to change my mindset, for a paradigm shift. In reading the first chapter from Cameron’s book this morning, what stuck with me was this: “When we do not act in the direction of our dreams, we are only ‘dreaming.’ […] Dreams coupled with the firm intention to manifest them take on a steely reality. Our dreams come true when we are true to them.”
I’m afraid. I don’t want to my creativity to plummet, or to get stuck in a rut that I won’t be able to pull myself out of. When that happens, I get so caught up in how I’m not writing that procrastination ends up riding roughshod over me. And then I lose sight of the long view. I focus more on how I’m not doing and what I’m not doing than on what I could be doing.
So on this Sunday morning, I sat down to write this blog post (when I was tempted to kick back and watch — for the umpteenth time — Thor: The Dark World) because I need to begin again. I need to let myself be a beginner. I must simply write and commit to it. I cannot worry about where it will lead me or how it will be received. I must simply write and let what needs to be expressed through me manifest itself. I will begin, here, where I am and with who I am.
It is these words of encouragement, courtesy of Goethe, that I come back to often, and today they are the impetus I need to get moving again: “Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace and power in it.”
Gregory Josephs says
I’m so glad you’ve made it through your training and are starting to write again. Getting knocked off balance creatively is no joke, and I think you know it’s a fear I share as well. In so many ways, writing is about momentum—it can take forever to get moving and then hurt like hell when you have to put on the brakes. But look, here you are on the other side, and I’m sure just under the surface your creative aquifers are full.
I came to blogging somewhat reluctantly—first as a platform building exercise, and then as a means to occupy myself while waiting for my manuscript to come back from the editor (which it still has not). I actually really enjoy it now, but I still need inspiration. With that in mind, if you’re feeling stuck, I’d highly recommend wordpress.com’s Daily Post. They put up a one-word prompt every day and then list your post if you link back to the prompt page. It could be a great way to shake off the rust while simultaneously finding some new readers.
I’m very glad you’re back! Take care!
It’s good to be writing again. You’re right: Writing is about momentum, and I do my best – despite the challenges of my day job – to keep that momentum going. One thing I was able to do while in training was to keep my #TwitterFictionTuesdays series going. That helped to keep me “sane”.
I admire your dedication to blogging. It’s not something that comes naturally to me, and it’s not inspiration that I’m lacking in that area. When I’m honest with myself, I’m not that committed to blogging. When it comes to writing priorities, blogging is near the bottom of the list. I’m already at work on another novel manuscript (and there are a couple of others in the queue for editing). For me, it’s a matter of making the most out of the time that I have, and blogging often ends up, for lack of a better term, neglected. I will check out wordpress.com’s Daily Post. While at this time I know I can’t commit to writing one blog post a week (not without going insane), the one-word prompt may prove invaluable when I do sit down to write my next post.
I always appreciate your insights and, as always, thanks for sharing.
Hope the rest of your week goes well!