Saturday, June 04, 2005

Something In the Wind

Olivia needs joy. Rene is stuck.

And I feel like giving up.

Oh, I know it's a passing phase. I could never truly give up writing. I love it too much.

But today I had to give myself permission not to write. I just plain didn't want to. This is contrary to all the advice I've read that says, "You need to write even when you don't feel like it."

Well, I didn't feel like it today. The thought popped into my mind of just giving up on this writing gig. I stopped to think and realized that I've been writing for twenty years now (and I turn 30 this month).

And what do I have to show for it?

A few published short stories, a few published articles, gobs of unfinished manuscripts, scraps of character sketches and story ideas scattered around my office and my house...

But not what I've always wanted: the published novel. My ultimate goal. Yet to be realized.

Yet how can it be realized when I can't sit down and write? I feel so much better when I write - emotionally and spiritually.

For some reason, I'm resisting. The muse or maybe the "should committee" keeps bugging me. You need to sit down and write. Do it. Now. It truly never leaves me alone. It's always pushing me to write.

Maybe I'm rebelling right now. Maybe I just don't want to write today.

I completely screwed up on my "four hours of writing a week" project, which wasn't helped by the killer headaches (which still come and go).

What's wrong with me? Why can't I keep my goals? Why do I have such a problem sitting down at the keyboard and working? Have I lost the joy? When? Why? And more importantly, will I ever be able to capture it again?

I wrote the article on "Rediscovering Your Joy" last summer. I had my head on straight at that time, apparently, because I felt compelled to write that article. I felt the joy.

What happened? And why do I keep getting in this cycle?

And am I over analyzing this whole thing?

Probably. :-)


Anonymous Amy said...

I subscribe to the "write when you don't feel like it" theory, BUT...there's not feeling like it and there's NOT FEELING LIKE IT. We all need a day off from time to time.

The fact is, even though we love to write, it's still work.

Hope you get out of your funk soon and rediscover the joy. :)

8:43 PM  
Anonymous kacey said...

well, like Amy, I subscribe to the write when you don't feel like it. But some days it's overwhelming to think of how long I've been at this and still haven't sold. Then there is the tiny thought in the back of my mind saying maybe I'll never sell. But I usually squash that one, and try and stay positive. Anyway I can so relate. There are times where I have to tied my hands so I don't just throw the computer out the window...

Maybe you need one of your journal writing days again??

4:40 AM  
Blogger Rene said...

My honest opinion? Don't think about it so much. How much of Robert's story have you written? Are you still stuck on having it all plotted out? Still trying to figure out the GMC? Stuck on the research? What fun is that?

One problem I have with writing is too often I make it an reward for getting the house clean or working out, something along those lines. It takes the purpose of writing out of my life. I resent writing because it becomes a symbol of my failings. Do I deserve the chance to write today? Heck, this morning I got up at 5:45 so I could clean the kitchen and get laundry started so I could feel better about writing this afternoon. That's not good. It leaks some of the joy from the process. In my mind, I know I should encompass writing into my routine along with fixing dinner and sweeping the hallway, but I gain such pleasure from writing, I get guilt feeings if I haven't done the yucky stuff.

8:45 AM  
Blogger ~~Olivia said...

Ah, Melissa, when has something that gives us such joy become work? We must remember back to the days when we discovered bliss in writing. Did it have anything to do with bliss in reading? I don't know. I am trying to rediscover reading, hoping it will lead to writing.

We can stick together, cry on each other's shoulders and share a virtual cup of coffee (bottle of wine).

Cheers to new beginnings!

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

Don't. Give. Up.

5:18 PM  

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