Trying to get a Writing Day Started…

hand writing painfulEvery writer I know has trouble writing. ~ Joseph Heller

I’ve found this statement to be true. The reasons appear as myriad as the writers themselves. Yes, there are generalized areas of distraction and impediment. There’s Facebook, video games, solitaire, work, children, ironing, lawn care, meetings, apathy, no muse, emotional distress, spiritual calamity, physical ailments, life. Death. The list gives all indication of endlessness. I am sick as I write this.

Doesn’t that count for something? I have some sort of stomach virus. I awoke at five in the morning today with the intent on my heart of writing this blog post. I did not plan on being a human guinea pig for the writing. Writers  write through their distractions and impediments. So what makes the difference in how we handle things? I know yesterday I was supposed to write this piece and I could not force myself to get it done. Today, I am sick and bed bound and I’m writing it. What is up with that?

Creativity does not appear to bend to the will of men. On the contrary, mankind must bend to the will of creativity, so it seems. At times, we stand our ground and wrestle with words, ideas, plot lines, characters, concepts. Other times it’s like we retreat so as to fight another day. Sometimes, facing creativity and all its chaos, we appear to decide the battle is too much and we must regroup.

What an absurd notion this is, seeing as how we haven’t done a doggone thing whenever that happens. It’s all in our mind, yet we truly feel this way. Some of us learn to write through the tough times, the times life kicks your ass and you have no place to go but up. At times, I’ve felt this low point to be a better vantage point from which to write than happy, sated and singing through life.

My five AM foray into bloggerdom began with promise. Seventy-five minutes later, words flowed from my fingertips into the document you’re reading. Movie trailers, emails, Facebook, the bathroom, all interceded and left me with a scant forty-five minutes to come up with something viable. It’s times like this I look at the writing life and wonder what kind of messed up folk we are.

Hell, I’m fresh off writing a book in November. What the heck is that? I can write a book one month, and languish in squishy, aimless, “Lost-Land” the next. There is no justice, thank god, in Writerville. We live in our own little minds, working to convince the world that what goes on in that gray matter landscape adds viable color and dimension to our world.

So what are your distractions and writing stressors? I’m convinced other artists/creators struggle with creativity in much the same way as authors. That fact has been pretty well established. But I also want to know what brings artists’, painters’, sculptors’, etc, creativity to a screeching halt.

I have children to get ready for school in a few minutes. I have deadlines I don’t like to meet. Sometimes I feel like the single parent taxi driver I am. Other times I feel like a creative monster with more ideas than brains to use them. Other times I feel like a washed out shell of a human who searches endlessly for the grail of writing only to find distraction.

When words flow, though, everything becomes unimportant except the symbols flying to the page representing concepts and ideas and observations and intuitive thought. Stomach virus’ fade in importance, morning waking rituals for children become my timer, and I lie in bed doing what writers do – I write. Yes, a nod to that sad, sickening, misleading phrase, “writers write” which vexes us so.

We do write. Just mind your definition of writing, because my definition will not be yours. My definition tends to be broader than most. There most definitely exist writers who think my view too broad, others who think it too narrow and restrictive. That’s the beauty of writing, isn’t it? Writing is such an individual endeavor, but many of its concepts may play out differently according to which author you speak.

This is one reason I love blogging. You may stride the narrow writing muse of stream of consciousness and often get away with spraying a themed thought pattern to the page. A descriptor of your writing travails, which solves nothing other than to give voice to the struggle, finds a few allies. Then you move forward with what you were going to do anyway.

I look on my wall where the pink-novel-in-the-room stands. Chapters and plot points lined out on index cards, sometimes enticing me, most times mocking my lack of confidence to write it. No wonder our writing world gets so pedantic and repetitive. The truly good stuff sits just out of our reach, forcing us to step further into the chaos of creativity. Once the journey begins, often the muse and energies take over. When this happens, I’ve known no writer who did not feel endowed with something so much larger than themselves, so much more powerful, so much more relevant and vastly more interesting.

We all live for these moments, don’t we? We live for that time where our book takes over our life and we don’t give a rat’s ass about most other occurrences in life than our own creativity. I’ve managed to write Thursday’s blog post this morning (Tuesday), and I wrote through the entire hour plus distractions, the stomach virus, and the annoyance of my low-writing-energy-light on my internal dashboard blinking.

My word count approaches 1000, I’m getting hungry, and I feel I have the energy to wake little sleepy heads so as to be able to prod them into their day which stands three days shy of a Christmas vacation. No small task, that.

I always desire to write something inspiring like, “So get up, get going, and let your words flow like a tumultuous river, water-creativity banging over the rocks of solid writing like oil to a piston.” Crap like that drives me crazy at times. Perhaps it’s better to allow your creative nature to place your personal parameters on whether to be inspired and motivated by this or to scoff from your life-drenched perspective and bemoan the impossibilities involved in stepping up to the writing plate.

I, for one, have often experienced both sides of those equations with myriad addendum’s attached. How about this? Resolve to do your best and recognize simply getting up and starting your day may be your greatest victory. Victories are meant to be built upon. Oops, there I go. Just can’t resist a little, “Yeah, you got this!” push. Can’t help it. It’s in my nature…

Categories: Writing A Book | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Trying to get a Writing Day Started…

  1. harrogate50

    Thanks for this, Mike! My worst problem often is, as Cole Porter once said, the “old ennui” – feeling sort of bored with myself and thinking “who cares? what difference does it make whether I write or not?” Same problem at times with drawing!

    I’ve been enjoying your posts – keep firing ’em out at us!
    PS/Merry Christmas!

  2. Reblogged this on Olde Hippie.

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