Today, a post for writers. The rest of you can move along……
I’ve been working on two major writing projects. I use the term “working” very loosely. Here’s why:
I HAVE BEEN PLAGUED for a long time by a repeating cycle. I am enthusiastic and begin to write, but am soon dogged by the thought, “Who cares about this stuff? Nobody will want to read about this.” And I stop. and it isn’t so much that I stop, but that I am so drained of enthusiasm and energy that I haven’t the oomph to put two words together.
It’s common to writers, I know, this experience.
Call it writer’s block,
call it what you want,
but it’s an awful cycle to be caught in.
I’ve tried everything. Surrounded myself with Post-its filled with words of wisdom from other writers. Reminded myself of the importance of perseverance. Mused the possible causes. Explored even more deeply the root of the negative voices. I’ve taken breathers from writing – eased off, stopped pressing it.
Nothing’s done the trick.
Maybe there is no trick.
Yes, I’ve toyed with quitting. Quitting trying. But still, there in front of my face hangs the story waiting to be told, to be written. (More than one actually.) It doesn’t go away. I start again, newly resolved, all the quotable quotes about applying the seat of pants to the seat of the chair firmly set before me.
I have applied for other types of work, work that will take me away from the writing. Maybe I will be refreshed by that, or at least my time will be taken up by something else and I will stop doing this dance with the writing. Let me be productive and useful somewhere, please!
I was away last week, caught up in a world of Playdoh and toy trains and Superman figures and singing and hide-and-seek. And even while there, lost in a child’s world, I wondered where it would end – the false starts, the failed attempts, the incessant thought that the only thing I have to say is something not worth saying, the only note I have to sing is one not worth singing. And what will I do? What is going to be the end of all this?
* * *
I WOKE TO THE SOUND of freezing rain and snow plows at 4:30 Saturday morning. Me, with a 6-hour drive home in front of me and suitcase packed and waiting by the door. Stuck.
No sense grousing about the weather.
While the rest of the house slept, I coffeed and chatted with my son who’d just returned from a week away. Nice! The Weather Channel’s continuous updates ran quietly in the background. Soon daylight crept in and there was stirring in the far reaches of the house.
Then came the sound of a 3-1/2 year-old’s voice from upstairs. “Grammie! Grammie! I want to show you something!”
Down the stairs he came, calling out. “C’mon, Grammie! I want to show you something and it’s white!” All his speech is in exclamation points these days. He grabbed my hand to take me back up the stairs.
“You can see it from down here, too,” others said, but he wouldn’t hear of it. His mind was set. Up the stairs we went. Up the stairs, down the hall, through the doorway to the corner of the bedroom, to a window that looked out the back of the house.
“LOOK!” he said, pointing. “Snow!”
How important it was to him that I see it out that window, the very window from which he’d first seen it! And I’d been carried up the stairs by his enthusiasm for that view, his belief that it had value and was worth the trip.
And it was! Though I’d been watching the snow and ice for hours, seen it out the guest room and family room windows and even stepped outside the front door to assess conditions and test it under foot, his view really was different from the ones I’d had. It was worth the trip.
Sure, it was simply snow. H2O frozen. Common stuff. Still it was something worth showing someone. Something worth seeing.