Writers are a misunderstood bunch. To the outside world, one might think our lives are spent wistfully daydreaming the day away. That we spend our time living in imaginary worlds, not staring blindly at a blinking cursor on a white screen for long stretches of time while we try to find the exact right words for every single word we want to put down, or the time spent learning and honing our craft, or the mental (and sometimes physical) obstacles we need to hurdle to finish a piece, in addition to all the other things we’ve learned we need to do in order to write professionally along the way. Writing can sometimes be an exhausting pursuit.
After last week’s admission of current shortcomings, I discovered that I sometimes follow a pattern. What’s nice about this “light bulb” moment is that I can now use it to my advantage. Being aware of the non-productive periods can help me lessen them in the future. All of life is a learning curve. Sometimes we are made to repeat certain instances until we come to an understanding, learn the lesson, and stop repeating them. I’ve written about the marathon-style sprints I’ve been on and I’ve written about the dry spells. There is no more or less passion during either of these times, but there is an ease in which the flow occurs. This is something that “other” people will not understand.
So, as I decided to stop the madness and get back to work, I had a bit of a serendipitous moment when I found this article entitled, How the Ups and Downs of Writing Can Improve Your Craft. Again, from The Write Life (who are quickly becoming my go-to site). The third bullet point in the lows is exactly where I’ve been – finding out what has brought me down and fixing it…the only way I know how – Get back to writing. I’ve reassessed some of my goals and am making some imaginary deadlines to get me focused again.
I’m not sure where I read it, but I have it on my board, a mantra of sorts that I’ve had to get back into the habit of repeating:
Discipline, Focus, Positive Energy
It is one of my goals to remain positive. It may sound strange, but I’ve seen a few things that suggest that positivity is a choice. It’s easy to fall prey to depressing thoughts, or feelings of inadequacy, and I would prefer not to, not anymore. This recent low has reminded me of that. So I suppose there’s good in that.
I wish you all the best in your writing endeavors and lots of positive thoughts!