What with my near-continuous lack of writing, both in terms of my blog and with fiction, I’ve been doing some writerly soul searching. Mind, the soul searching has been sporadic, a jigsaw puzzle with half the pieces missing and the ones I’ve got not matching up with each other. On the surface, it feels like my well of ideas is running dry–but I believe creativity is exponential, and that it’s also work. I haven’t been putting in the work, ergo the dearth of ideas.
Then when I do get ideas, little snippets will appeal, but the whole–if there is a whole, if the snippets have kindly knit themselves into something resembling An Actual Story–I wind up feeling meh about after a day, two, a week. Part of this could be related to fear–I always become daunted by the enormity of storytelling, of creating good storytelling, when I haven’t written in some time.
And again, the solution is to just write.
Then there’s the time issue. I joined a CSA this year, and while I’m enjoying the challenge of cooking with the seasons and experiencing new foods (kohlrabi! garlic scapes!) the food prep is time-consuming. As is the food preservation prep. I’m also committed to getting in my workouts , as I see them as an investment in my future and, yanno, not dying a premature death (well, outside of car accidents and other things over which I have no control).*
However, I also believe that there is always time for something you truly want to do. It’s a matter of priorities. And truthfully, it’s easier for me now when I’m single and don’t have a family to care for. I could give up, or at least cut down on, Netflix. I could shorten my leisure reading times (sniffle). I could start pawning off ginormous zucchini and extra wax beans on neighbors and coworkers.**
These excuses and negations of excuses are what I call hamster-wheel thoughts, the ones that keep spinning and spinning without ever going anywhere. I know there are no excuses. It’s not a recent revelation. I’ve known it since before “I’m not writing today” turned into “I’m not writing this season, except for the odd blog post or occasional addition to a WIP.” And yet I’m still not writing.
So. Next question. Do I want to stop writing? To be content with cooking and baking and Netflix and workouts and forget writing?
At which my soul, or my muse, or any other writing-related entity you care to envision, let out a wail of despair. Yes, I want to continue writing, and yes, I want to pursue publication, but even if I am not published, I don’t want to give up on it. I love stories too much, and regardless of whether superficially it seems my well of ideas is running dry, I have my own to tell.
Which means I’ve got to get off this Hamster Wheel of Doom. Even if it’s one paw at a time.
*My suspension trainer was one of the best purchases I made this year.†
**Though the selfish part of me cringes at that, because I spent a fair chunk of money on this CSA share, darn it!
†Ahh, footnoted footnotes! How I’ve missed you. I would hug you if you were tangible.
Anyway, I am too lazy to figure out how I made my footnotes smaller in previous posts, so I’m letting these go at the normal size.