Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Non-Professional Writer

I found myself in a conversation about writer's block recently and I've been thinking about it since.  I realized that the reason I don't often struggle with writer's block is that I don't have any deadlines.  I did struggle with finishing a particular poem before the reading last week.  I was adamant about reading that one and so, felt pressure to finish it.  When I did, the anxiety about the reading almost completely dissolved.  All was right with the world and I felt brave. 
I'm not sure you can have writer's block when you don't have a deadline, but I do notice that I'll suddenly realize one day that I haven't written anything for a few weeks and it makes me nervous.  It can be disorienting, like an integral part of me is silent and I'm not sure why.  "Muse", I wonder, "you haven't deserted me for good, have you?".  Maybe she was just taking a break.  Then she'll stop by and won't stop chattering in my ear for days.  I love those days, when I'm so busy I can't even remember what all I've written. 
I've learned a lot about my process lately.  I write when there is something there and I don't try to force it when nothing comes.  This is the luxury of being a non-professional writer.  So on the days when my hands are sore from writing, when my cat is ready to attack my lap-top, when I've forgotten there are such things as dishes, I am in my element.  I feel so alive and so free, caught-up in the flow of life.  I'm happier when I write.  That is not to say I write about happy things, only that I feel better when I'm trying to express things that are going on inside. 
So on those prolific days, I think to myself, "I should just be a writer.  Someone should pay me to stay home all day and write things.  I don't even care if it's creative.  I would be willing to write anything!".  But what about that block?  Would I be haunted by an absence of words?  Would it be possible for me to spend even a moment not-liking writing?  I suppose I don't have to worry about that right now.  But just in case I find that perfect writing-related job, I'm going to push myself just a bit.  I'm going to set some goals and see if I can't help keep my creative fire at least in embers at all times, so that a great fire of insight could be stoked at any moment.  If I'm open to that, the Muse may just stay with me.


  1. The muse is there within. When the words are ready to flow it will appear without effort. I am eager to read it when your heart is ready to let it go.

  2. Thanks! I love your new picture! I'm making a separate blog to put some of my poetry up. Some of it is- well, it's adult. When I finish copying the poems I read last week, it will be up and running. I'll probably post other poetry there too but I couldn't see posting some of that stuff on this blog. It just wouldn't fit.

  3. I'm very surprised to think of you ever being blocked. You're so free and open with your ideas and thoughts. And you have many, too!

    I try to write something every day, even if it's small. My problem is with finishing stuff too, but in a different way. As soon as I have an idea, I jump to it instead of what I'm working on.

    I think you should be a writer. You have so many ideas and you express them very well. I bet you could write a book of poetry or a book on philosophy.

  4. It's weird. Sometimes the thoughts circle and circle my brain before any land long enough to be put down. Sometimes I think I'm just distracted by life or a little depressed and stop writing. Then I'm unhappy and I start writing again so that I feel better.
    I'm going to write a book about why I'm a witch. I've been working on it but the going is slow because, well, life is busy. My hope is to start devoting time to it regularly.