9.25.2010

Restless Writer

Today is my ritual Writing Saturday. I'm at Starbucks, all by my writing self and a goooood cup of coffee. And I'm enjoying it... sort of. I have a lot of thoughts rolling around and none of them are very helpful. After a long, busy, roller-coaster week, I have nothing to show for it - at least not in terms of my writing. Last Saturday I felt the same way. I wrote a solid 1,500 words, but none of what I wrote is anything that I would inflict on others. Now I sit, coffee in hand, listening to the friendly but distracting sounds of the cafe and I question, Did I come here this morning for the coffee or the writing? I might have just pulled myself into a bad writing habit by coming here instead of sitting at home in the quiet. I know that's not the only thing bothering me, though. I feel stumped. Uninspired. Frustrated. Displaced. Like something I once had is now gone; I feel the void, but what is it exactly that I've lost? I'm just wondering, for you writers and bloggers out there, When you feel like something is missing in your writing, how do you find it? I have a feeling that many of you will say, "I keep writing." Thank you. That was very helpful. But how do you subdue the anxiety that accompanies the sense of aimlessness? Truth be told, I feel bored with my writing self. Possibly, I am bored with my self self, and it's infringing on my writing self. (Am I helping or hurting my writing by separating my writing self from my whole self?) When I become restless with my writing, it often feels like I'm talking my writing self down from the ledge. Don't be so over-dramatic. The thing you're missing? It will come back to you. Just be patient. Wait it out. Write it out. And then, my self self gets frustrated. I am talking to myself. I am insane. I'm the crazy writer girl that's going to start wearing all white and never leave my house. Or I'll wind up sticking rocks in my trench coat pockets and wander into the river. Or stick my head in an oven and inhale deeply until the unhelpful thoughts go away.... See what I mean? It would be great if I could actually be satisfied with my writing self before the end of my life. (Disclaimer: I'm not actually suicidal. I just find it sad and amusing that so many great writers never knew their own potential.) I know I'm not alone in this, so tell me, how do I talk my writing self back from the ledge? How do I break the cycle of unhelpful thoughts? Advice, please. For now, I'm going to keep working on an unfinished writing project from a few weeks ago and hope that it yields something reader-worthy....

5 comments:

derekterbeest said...

I've always found that if I schedule time to write, I usually am not inspired during that time. I have to do it immediately when the ideas spark, and that could be any time of the week. Also, what works for me is writing when i'm upset, angry, excited, or some other kind of emotional. If i'm feeling content or bored, I'm not gonna be able to write anything worthwhile. At my job, I sit in front of a computer with nothing pressing to do for most of the day, so I am usually free to write when the ideas start coming in.

SallyBoyd said...

Hi Friend. I don't know if this will help but it's worth a try. Maybe, instead of the coffee shop, you could try the library. It's quiet and full of books. The quiet is a plus and the books could be used as inspiration. The downside is I don't think you can drink coffee in the library.

Try it and let me know what you think. I can't wait to see you again.

Wuv you. (I spelled it that way on purpose) LOL.

Deedee Knickerbocker said...

While my advice is about to come from a script-writing perspective, I'm beginning to recall a few times it's helped me out with my blog as well. Sometimes I just have to put down my pen or push back my laptop and remind myself that the creativity and inspiration flowing through those objects aren't really mine, but God's. That does two things for me: 1) takes the pressure off, 2) gives the glory of the art to God. Then it becomes more of a worshipful process, and I feel as if he's granting me access to his unlimited supply of imagination.

That, or, you know, running.

Kathryn Siscoe said...

when i don´t know what to write for my blog, i just photos... but the purpose of my blog is a bit different than your purpose, i think. my purpose is to show what life is like here in costa rica, and your purpose is to write... right?

Bethany said...

thanks for all the comments, friends! the good thing that i've realized is that even when i'm having trouble coming up with something to write, i can usually find something to say on my blog, which is very rewarding.
Ashley, I really love your idea that when we lay our creative desires at God's feet, He grants us access to His imagination. I will definitely keep that in mind!
Kate, you're right my purpose is a bit different than yours, but I think you're also right about adding visual stimuli, which I think I should try to incorporate into this blog more. It might inspire my writing and my readers to keep reading through. :)

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