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on the power of showing up

note: I wrote this post in April of 2019 (pre-COVID). It's been sitting in my drafts for quite a while, but I think it's time for it to see the light of day. It's been helpful for me to reread over the past few months, especially as I continue to try to make an effort to write, and I hope it can be helpful to you, too. i got an invite to a writers' group a few months ago, and i had never felt like more of a fraud in my life. it had been months, if not years, since i'd felt like a writer. the proverbial well of words in my heart had dried up, it seemed, and i wasn't sure if it was ever coming back. i agreed to go out of a sense of helplessness—i'd identified as a writer ever since i could remember. if i'm not a writer, who am i?  i told myself that it was important to show up and act like a writer even when i didn't feel like one, because even though i hadn't been writing, i reassured myself, i still was a writer. but sometimes the words f

Writing Is Like Toothpaste


You know what happens when you've almost used up all your toothpaste? The toothpaste bottle gets all gunky and stagnant, and you nearly burst a blood vessel by trying to squeeze it out. After pushing until your knuckles turn white, you only get a meager bit of toothpaste that drizzles out.

Yep, that's what's happening in my writing life right now.

It's not like I'm not writing. Thanks to Georgie's handy box of writing prompts, I've written three short stories. One of them is about fire and tulips, the other about a New Year's Eve party, and the most confusing is about forbidden spheres. However, when it comes to my current WIP, Silver Tears, I'm hitting a wall.

Again.

NaNo ended five days ago, and since then I've only written about 2,000 words. This is hard, especially when 2k was my average per day. Still, I've hit a point in my writing where whatever I wrote on my outline is vague, if there's anything written at all.

I, of course, could just write. That would be the simplest option, and would also be taking my own advice. But I'm trying to get over my inner-editor. You know, the one that says, You MUST have the first draft perfect. This writing stinks. You'll never write anything good.

Yep, that one.

Is duct tape an acceptable method of tying up my inner editor, critiquer, and all-around annoyance? On second thought, maybe I should just throw him in the closet.

At any rate, I'm hoping to get past this wall. Maybe I need a sledgehammer to knock it down. Either that, or maybe getting a grappling hook would help me climb over it.

You know how in my last post I said this quote?


You can't wait for inspiration to come to you.
You have to go after it with a sword.


I think I need a bigger sword.

{side note: I've always wondered... why is bouquet spelled with two u's? I can understand the one after the q, but the first u always gets me.}

Comments

  1. Sky, I know perfectly well what you are going through right now, that post-NaNo down-turn, the guilt at not being about to write anything seemingly worth-while, or even quickly, after you had rumbled through an entire month of scribbling. I highly suggest reading "After the War" from Scribbles and Inkstains. I think it might help put things in perspective and help you recover.

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  2. I agree entirely. I've been in/am in that spot now, as it happens. A very appropriate simile indeed. It's good to know that we can commiserate in pain, however! ;)

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