Friday, June 3, 2016

Hello, Stranger

What's that country song? "Hello, stranger. It's been a long time...."
What's happened to my blogging mojo? I haven't blogged since Monday? I checked my blogging numbers this morning. Gulp. 2011 was my best blogging year thus far with 453 posts. Wow! Much more than one per day! I must've been wearing y'all's eyeballs out :)
But the following years were no slouches, with numbers up in the 300's and 400's. Then in 2015 I plummeted to only 194 posts.

And so far this year ... only 51. Yikes! Or as my kids say, "Yikes on bikes!"

Am I running out of things to say, or worse yet, things to think? Golly, I hope not!

When planning this particular blog post in my head (which I did while drifting in and out of sleep this morning, so don't expect much), I reasoned that I'm writing less because I'm working now. But that's no excuse; I was working full-time in the classroom with four kids at home during my early blog years, and it didn't slow me down.
But this year I started a second blog. That must be it! But no ... if I add the two blogs together, my total posts this year amount to only 96.

So now I sit here scratching my head and wondering what exactly is wrong with me (aside from the usual).

Interesting ideas do still rumble around in my head. However, I don't flesh them out like I used to. I don't wrestle with ideas and make them submit until I come to conclusions. And then I don't write my musings down (obviously) because they remain unformed and confusing.

This I find disturbing, just as I mourn that my writing habits have similarly ground to a halt. In that light, I share the following link with you that I found on a friend's facebook page. (Where did we get any ideas before facebook?) Author Ann Lamont (whom I've never read but hear is quite good) talks about finding time to write. I imagine you could put any creative activity in that blank: "finding time to __________." Paint? Play the piano? Throw pottery?

The article is Time Lost and Found.
Maybe her secret mojo is the dreadlocks.
I don't think I can go that far, even for writing :)
Her first paragraph is a doozy, but you'll have to read it yourself. Later she lists off a few of my own excuses and reasonings regarding writing, and says that I am sincere but delusional. And I'm sure she's right. Her honest, brutal questions bore into her students' guilty regrets, but she's right. Do I need to watch an episode or two of "Escape to the Country" every day in order to cope with life? Should I sacrifice my time on facebook (which is already greatly curtailed from what it was)? Ironically I would then have missed this article altogether.

I must carve out a piece of time for the thinking, and the turning-thinking-into-finished-ideas, and the writing. Is that really what I want? Do I want writing that much? Was it just a phrase of life like teaching and child-rearing that passes after a few years. I mean ... have I replace writing with yarn? Bwahaha!

That's maybe not funny.

In the back of my mind my characters and plots sit in their dark corners, waiting. They are grumpy and tired of my excuses. I use them to help me fall asleep at night; I ruminate on which parts of my sequel to Three Against the Dark I should cull out because they're no good. The book is about 3/4 finished and has been for years. These lengthy indecisions put me to sleep.

And you see that even the thinking about how I'm not writing is something to blog about. I've often wondered if blogging itself is keeping me from finishing my books. If I stopped working, would I write? If I broke my leg and stayed in bed and the internet stopped working for a month, and I had nothing else to do ... would I write? 

Anne seems to say yes, that it's simply about time. If you carve out the time, you will write. But the thinking comes before the writing, and one must birth and nurture and hack away at the ideas first. And what Anne wants for her students, for me, I tell myself vainly, is "to be deeply and truly present" for those we love. And for ourselves. This is a spiritual pursuit, I suspect -- to get rid of the mad hurry and the pressure to achieve and produce.

Except the pressure to produce writing. Is that one okay?

5 comments:

  1. I think it's so important to read and write every day. Somedays when I have some quiet, I'd rather speak aloud as I process my thinking, but as a rule my journal is vital. Most of my writing morphs into prayer and THAT I want to be true, true, true. It's a season and you'll swing around to more writing again before long. You've had so much to do so you must give yourself grace. Your "making" has been a blessing to a variety of souls. I love Julia Cameron's concept of morning pages. Three pages of writing, no editing, simply write and it will feel like just the stretch you needed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Life changes and life is busy! Don't beat yourself up!x

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm impressed with the number of posts you cranked out a few years ago. I, too, seem to be blogging a lot less this year. I have many of the same thoughts as you, with a half finished book gathering dust. And I've wondered about blogging taking away from my book. Hey, at least we get "published" when we blog. You'll figure it out, M.K. As for me, I've decided right now I don't want it enough to discipline myself to do the work. But Pom Pom reminded me about those morning pages. I always thought that was such a good idea, even if you never "produce" anything.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Really good food for thought here, M.K. Sometimes I too feel like I NEED to do something creative, and when I begin with that attitude, I find I am less creative, and I stop.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like Pom Pom's idea. Maybe that's just the thing you need to spark up more writing -- !!

    ReplyDelete

Hello! I hope you leave a word ~ I will get back to it as soon as I can!