We writers struggle sometimes. There’s so many other things competing for our attention and energy that we shift focus, lose steam, and wind up tired and drained staring at yet another failed paragraph.
Yesterday I had a dozen other things I was juggling besides the blog article I was scheduled to post: preparing for a job interview, finishing up a news article, coming home from an eight hour work shift to my soon-to-be fiance who needed my attention and love. We were coming off of an emotionally draining week-end and she desperately desired my focused attention (which I felt barely able to give because I was so tired), and worry about my interview had begun to seep throughout my mind.
I hadn’t read anything in days, I’d been surrounded constantly by other people all wanting my attention and input, and I was tired. Emotionally, physically, mentally dog tired and beat up.
I stared at that blinking cursor for an hour. I would peck two lines, delete one, then completely rewrite the entire thought. Nothing was flowing, the words were dead and flat, and so was I. I had been producing so much output with nothing coming in that I literally just shut down and couldn’t write another word. So much for my schedule.
But I had forgotten something. Art is created in solitude. In silence. Alone. No one can create for you; no one can overcome your doubts, fears, loneliness and exhaustion except yourself.
(4 hours later)
I had actually finished this post, and it was perfect. It was one of those posts where everything just clicked inside your head and the words went down onto the paper smoother than fifty year old brandy.
Then I found my internet had given out. The post hadn’t been automatically saving, I couldn’t edit or publish the post as it was, and the only thing left to do was to shut down my computer and reboot it. Without saving the rest of my post. All my hard work, gone.
I’m incredibly frustrated right now.
I had written that sometimes we just need to stop. That the best thing for us isn’t to push through the pain and follow our schedule. Sometimes our mind just needs to lie fallow for a while so that later we can reap an even greater harvest. That instead, there’s a time to write and a time to be silent. A time to create and a time to rejuvenate. A time to work and a time to rest.
I had written that sometimes the most effective action is to do nothing, and to simply let ourselves soak in the silence. Creativity is killed by too much mental clutter.
It was beautiful. Poetic even. I was proud to have written it.
But the post crashed and I’m tired and frustrated, again. And it’s late at night and I don’t have anything left to put into recapturing those thoughts. So until my next post on 5 Ways to Improve Your Writing (posting Saturday), I’m going to need to take some time off and follow my own advice.
I’m going to log off this computer, and be silent.