Thursday, January 28, 2016

What I am Thinking About

Here is a random list of things I've been thinking about to do with my writing life stalling

         I can't push the river. By this I mean that it seems when I come to a standstill  I must submit and wait for it to pass. This isn't writer's block - or not as I understand it - more like the stubborn kid part of me who is saying "wait! I can't do this right now." I haven't written anything since the beginning of the
year. Not a word. I haven't been walking either. I've been working. I've been drawing. I've been meditating. All of those things daily and with no problem getting to it. But walking and writing (wait a minute! they both start with 'w'!) have been practices that don't seem to exist for me at this moment. I've pondered on it - the walking is to do with a bad bout of arthritis that has been going on since August and I just now have the meds organized to handle. It is also to do with the weather - -25 today (-39C with wind chill). Sorry - not interested. The writing I'm less sure of - I have a ms out with my mentor and I think it might be the next to last revision so maybe I'm just waiting to see. My new ms I wrote in a red hot heat in November and into December. I still have about 25 thousand words to write but I just look at the chair and say nuh uh.  And the two things might be combined - the walking and writing thing I mean. My chair sucks and the area where my computer is is cold. My drawing and sitting practice spaces are warm. I like them. So - head scratch here - I dunnoh.

         I'm scared that the book I was working on is a dumb idea. It might be too close to the bone - too possibly hurtful to the community that I love (the Innu community where I work). I'm also thinking that the protagonist was too much me and now I'm birthing a not me character and that is taking some time. By that I mean that I use my sensibilities, passions, etc...as the scaffolding and now it is time to replace it - but maybe not. Maybe I have to be very careful and not leave the walls without support just yet.

        Also, maybe I should give up writing novels. I can't give up writing altogether and even though I said I hadn't written a word this year - that is not true. I've written about ten new poems so far. But perhaps novels are just too massive and complicated and so on for me to write. I really don't know. I hate doubting myself but I am. I certainly have no desire to write plays again - maybe if an idea comes to me I'll try it - like for a community production - but generally I'm no longer interested in that form. Maybe I'm done with trying novels. Even as I write this I feel insane. I WANT TO WRITE NOVELS the teenage girl who lives in my head screams. Whoa! She is loud.

   

See that blueish bench? That's where I sit and draw. It's so warm there - a heater beneath. I love it. Maybe I need a good lap-top? Could it be so simple
     
 I think that's enough thinking out loud for now. It is wearing me out. Perhaps this time of year is simply my cosmic yearly nap-time. Where all I do is consume novels and other books - not create them which takes so much energy.  hmmmm....

7 comments:

Melissa Marsh said...

I think we go through cycles in life. There are times when we are walking and writing and eating healthy, etc., and then we take a hit - for you, your arthritis pain (I can relate - I have rhuematoid arthritis and my exercise has been nonexistent for months now) - and we move into another cycle. I think it's normal. You're still being creative (your drawing) and that will eventually turn back to your writing somehow. I think creativity begets creativity.

January is always a hard month, too, so dark and cold. I normally don't feel very energetic over anything, but I've been working on my novel quite a bit and reading, too. Again, part of the cycle. :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm also a believer in cycles, and I believe we need to pay attention to what our bodies and minds want to do most at the time. I'm in a read books, take naps, and exercise mode at the moment, so the revisions on my book are going slowly. It will change again and I'll be back in the "write like crazy" mode when I'm ready. You'll be happier if you don't try to force it.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Jan, I'm guessing it's all tied into your change of routine. Even though you've got some good parts of your new routine, walking was part of your writing routine.

Maybe continue shaking things up and see if it works? Write longhand if you usually write on a computer? Vice versa? Write during lunch break if you usually write before work? Maybe you can't keep your writing routines the same with the other changes.

But I also hear what Melissa and Pat are saying--things do go in cycles.

Margot Kinberg said...

I respect the way you're listening to yourself, Jan, and paying attention to your cycles. It'll keep you mentally healthier. More to the point, I think it helps in writing if we know our cycles. Instead of fighting the river, go along with the current...

Tabitha Bird said...

Goof for you for listening to the little girl inside. Forcing things is like dragging that little girl places she isn't ready to go. Please don't ever doubt yourself. Take time, all the time you need. But never give up. I met Bryce Courtney (author of The Power of One) once before he died and he said to me, you don't have to try to be a writer.mifnyou are one then you just will be. In other words you are already who you are. Settle in to it. Trust that gift. And have fun exploring where and what you're meant to write. Blessings. Tab

Stephanie Faris said...

I think doubts are an inevitable part of this, but we have to somehow push past those doubts and keep going. Over time, it gets easier. But there will always be times in life that we don't write (or exercise) as much as we should and that's okay--as long as we make our way back to it eventually.

Words A Day said...

maybe its okay to be unstructured for a while, a season free of the 'must do'... ! :) poetry and art (both of which i love ) are less appreciated by society than the 'NOVEL' and sometimes we writers are influenced by this and give them less appreciation than they deserve? With that novel and those worries about it, it sounds like your about to write something that might be tough for you, and brave to do - so maybe this is a much needed warm -up, a time to build your reserves :) Enjoy what your doing, keep the faith x