Make Something

I’ve spent a few weeks in a writing funk.  This isn’t the first time this has happened, and I sincerely doubt it will be the last.  It is an unfortunate fact, but there it is.  Sometimes my writing ability can be interrupted by life.  I’m still getting my story ideas, but I am losing my inspiration to write them.

It started a few weeks ago, when I was working on getting some critique on the beginning of a story.  I went in knowing my own story weaknesses, but feeling like what I was submitting was all right.  I left realizing that everyone else saw the same weaknesses I had. 

Suddenly I was hit with an absolute knowledge that everything I wrote was crap.  Seeing my own problems was fine; I could pretend I was just being paranoid, or maybe giving myself a little tough love.  When someone else sees the same problems it means they are actually problems and I should fix them.

Trying to make a go of a creative career is not easy.  You have to be sensitive enough to follow your creative path, and express real emotion.  You have to open yourself up in a way that feels almost wrong; a part of you is exposed to the world that you would normally keep hidden.  You put that part out there, and then allow others to pass judgment in the name of making things better.  You have to be raw and place everything out there, yet tough enough to shrug off everything negative.  As soft as silk, and yet as tough as nails.  I’m not even sure what material out there would come close to that, but I’m sure I am not made from it.

I can’t take the critique without suffering a few scars.  Maybe it means in a few years I will be out, or at least in a perpetual state of ‘revising’ before letting anyone read.  Hearing negatives hurts, even if it is for my own good.  Sometimes, it breaks my confidence down for a little while, and makes it hard to write more.  This is my fatal writing flaw, worse than any grammatical or spelling error I will every make.  I take the hit, and I will get back up, but I might need a little rest first.

I think the worst of it all, knowing that some of it was true.  Many of my own fears of the piece were exactly what was said back to me.  I’d feel better if I could laugh and say they were wrong, but they zeroed right in on the target, and sent their shot there.  Sure, some of it I will brush off, because I know the purpose of the little facts that were included early on.  I know the big picture thoughts behind certain things, and maybe they just missed my point.  It’s all right.  Other things I will have to change because I know it is for the best of the story. 

After spending some time on my pity party is it time to pick myself back up.  Just because I made a few mistakes doesn’t mean I should never try again.  Every critique is important, as long as I take it as a lesson for future learning.  The most important thing is to get back at it, and make something.

 

 

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One of Those Days

My daughter had a friend over today.  Spring break can seem long when there is nothing for a Kindergartener to do; even a short visit from a friend can make the time pass in a more pleasant manner.

As her friend was dropped off, I found myself almost instantly apologizing to his mother for the mess in the house.  “Sorry,” I said.  “It’s just one of those days, you know?”  She nodded, acknowledging her understanding.

The truth is, my house wasn’t even that messy.  It wasn’t perfect, but it certainly wasn’t anything worse than I had seen on visits to her house.  I just felt as though my house was worse than it looked.

Some days you wake up feeling completely behind, as though you’ll never catch up.

In truth, today wasn’t the only ‘just one of those days.’  There has been a lot of those days.  I had ‘just one of those weeks’ recently.  In fact, it has been threatening to turn into ‘just one of those months.’

Day after day, I wake up, wondering if this will be the day I feel normal again.

I make my lists, trying to schedule in everything I need to accomplish.  Clean, research, write, organize; slowly work my way thr0ugh each task as though finishing the to do list would clear the mist that had covered my mind.

It’s hard to say what brings this kind of day.  Sometimes I really am behind, scrambling to catch up.  Other times, I am simply not where I want to be, and feeling like a caged animal.  Sure there is the feeling of being trapped, but it’s more like the poor hamster running on the wheel, running and running and never getting anywhere.

Getting out of a funk like this can be tricky.  Something might come along to cheer my mood and clear my mind.  I might just wake up one day feeling better.  Until then, I keep running on my wheel, waiting to get somewhere.