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    My daily writing--emails, journal entries, marginalia, more emails, blog posts, and tweets--shapes me as a writer, helping and hindering the big stuff I'm trying to accomplish. Every word counts.

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Clouded? Turn Away. Come Back.

In response to my own poll about barriers to creative work, I could pin the blame on lack of motivation. But the part of my brain dedicated to quality control would prohibit that decision. It’s picky about such things, wasting my time on a devotion to precision, when I would much rather just say, “yeah, that’s close enough.”

Lately, I haven’t had energy for writing. I’ve felt drained, which has been a physical thing to some extent, but mostly I’ve been drained of spirit. (Ugh, that’s not close enough, but–ah hell, close enough.) Unfortunately, I haven’t been drained to the point of not wanting to write. The impulse has been there, and I’ve felt motivated to write some notes that didn’t become anything more than notes. For example, I’ve started four blog posts that either didn’t hold together or never came close to forming in the first place. In weather terms, some would have been tropical depressions, and the others would have been little more than harsh winds. No reason to board up the windows, but I might as well stay inside until the sun comes out.

I haven’t lacked something to say. I have plenty to say, but I want to write clearly, not mutter. Not ramble. Not merely vent without having some idea of what I’m writing means to me. Creating short pieces with some, perhaps very little, meaning has made blogging fun for me. Now I’m challenged by it. I can find meaning in others’ pointlessness, and some bloggers may not realize how interesting and talented they are. (Note: I said “some.”) But I know myself pretty well, and I can tell when I’m muttering to myself vs. when I’m not feeling intimidated by potential readers.

So I’m assuming that some of you might get what I mean here. I’m not the only writer who feels like this sometimes, even though it seems no one could possibly understand, which is, precisely, the problem. I told my friend Nina about this, and she said, “Don’t overthink it.” She’s right. Her wording must be interpreted carefully. She didn’t say not to think about it, just not to think about it too much. Which is what I did. I put it way in the back of my mind, and it’s worked its way forward, asserting itself in an effort to make sense to me.

Going back to weather terms, I guess the storm doesn’t represent clear writing; it represents interference. Clarity just hangs there shining in space, and sometimes finding it is beyond our control. Either the view gets clouded, or we turn away from it and forget we’ll eventually come back around.

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3 Responses

  1. To help define a few things here so that they seem a little more objective instead of personal.. there is a cycle to the creative process. The creative process is one in which a person pours out their inspiration. After that person has completed the 1st level of pouring out, designing, writing, etc, whatever form your aft is in, then you let it set. This period of time is called the Incubation period. During this time, you leave this particular project. You let it set, until you feel the second sense of inspiration and then you either continue to pour out your inspiration for this next level, or you complete it. This is like the eb and flo of the sea in that it comes and goes, comes and goes… endlessly. You haven’t hit a wall, or a dead jone, or lost your touch. There needs to be a time to leave it, let it incubate, let the subconscious come forward, or let God influence you with the next area.

    I hope this helps.

  2. As a human being.. You are loved. Just remember that.

  3. Susan: Thanks for sharing your creative process. Mine is similar in some ways, but my trajectories are rarely as linear as what you describe. I definitely require time away from projects as part of the development process. What I describe in my post is not that. I definitely lost touch for a while, or, more precisely, I was out of reach. Not a bad thing, but it’s not a feeling I like to have for very long.

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