So here I am, ready to do my blog post. Ah, what to blog about?
I throw my penny into the well of inspiration and hear…clink! Empty. (You can’t see this, but my cursor is blinking at me. Blinking. Come on, Kristen! I’m wai-ting…blink. Blink. Blink.)
It happens. Some may be more prolific than others, but all writers at some point or another find that their well has run dry. And what to do when it happens?
There is a theory (no, I don’t have the energy today to look up its origins, sorry) … a theory that says that by adapting to an hourly schedule, creating standardized time, we as a race severely quashed our creative energies. True? Debatable.
But the premise is this: creativity does not run on a clock. Nor is it constant. It ebbs and flows; ergo there are surges and dry spells. We, as creative beings, are not machines. Creativity is an organic thing. To try and tame it, force it to adhere to our industrialized schedule, is going against the tide. Of course, we as a human race just love that challenge and often try to bend nature as we like.
But what does it mean? Well, that there will be days like today when I won’t be at 100 per cent. Maybe not even 20 per cent. Yet the guilt that comes with that, the feeling of failure is brutal. Never mind that there are spells were I can churn out an average of 10,000 words a day for months on end. Here, on this day, when this stupid blinking cursor is yelling at me, is my shame.
An excellent piece of advice is to write every day. Regardless. You are a writer, so write. But what if I don’t want to? What if I only write once every two months? Am I not a writer? (This is the madness that goes on in my head –aren’t you happy to be here? (g) )
And just exactly what is it that makes one a writer anyway? [Work with me here, I tend to philosophize when dry]
When that inevitable small-talk question arises, “What do you do?” At what point do you find yourself able to say, with your head held high, “I am a writer.” ??
Is it when you’ve completed a book? I can’t imagine so. Some of the best writers I know haven’t yet finished their books. Conversely, some of the worst writing I’ve read has been in published books…
Is it when you have an agent? Published? Published multiple times?
I suspect this answer will be different for all of us. It’s too tied into our own insecurities. But I have to believe that there is a moment for all of us when a switch flicks in our soul, when we feel, know with complete confidence: yes! I am a writer.
And perhaps that is the point. Perhaps being a writer isn’t simply about the act itself, but the declaration as well. I think, therefore I am. Well, I am.
What about you? Have you reached that moment of knowing? And if so, what did it for you? Do you feel guilt about your dry days? Must you write every day to feel valid? Has my crazy-ass post confused you enough that you’ve missed that I’ve written about essentially nothing?
Please, talk amongst yourselves, I’ll be having some coffee.*
*Edited to add that as we do live in a schedulized world, I say we make the best of it. Writing every day with out fail is definitely one of the best ways to combat the dreaded dry spells. I'm just sayin' is all...