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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Could You Ever Walk Away?

Have you noticed how quiet this blog has been lately? Yup, me too. I feel bad about it, I really do, but every time I try to figure out what to post I come up blank.

That’s pretty much the problem with all of my writing recently. And by recently I mean the past, um three years? That’s just a guess. In reality it feels like a lifetime. I used to love writing. I couldn’t wait to get to my computer every day and spew out all the thing that had been circling around in my head since the last time I’d been able to sit down and write. I loved the challenge of even the most mundane assignment. Now, not so much.

Without going in to great detail suffice it to say that things have changed for me over the past few years. A bunch of little things combined with a few big things have caused a big part of me to “die” so to speak. It’s just not there anymore. I can’t access a big part of who I used to be. At first I just mourned the loss and tried to push through it. It didn’t really work. Everything creative that I’ve tried to do has been awful. Beyond the normal awful for a first draft stage. I’ve procrastinated every nonfiction and technical assignment until it couldn’t be put off any longer then felt that I wasn’t exactly putting my heart, or most of my mind, into what came out on the page for those assignments either. It wasn’t my best work.

I thought maybe I was taking on too much. I’ve whittled away most of my clients and stopped looking for new assignments, giving myself permission to write just because I want to write. It hasn’t worked. In the last few months I’ve been trying to find new ways to stimulate the creative side of my brain: visiting museums, taking art/craft classes, picking up my sewing supplies. Nope. So far that hasn’t worked either.

I don’t feel like a writer any more. I just feel empty. Is a writer still a writer if they can’t write? If I’m not a writer who am I?

Could you ever walk away?


Stephanie Humphreys said...

I feel this way frequently. Sometimes I wonder if I only had so many words in me and maybe they have run out. Usually if I force myself to sit at the computer for a while and write, even if it is just random exercises, the creative juices start flowing again.

That being said, I think it is okay to change directions in our lives when something isn't working. For years I worked as a professional seamstress. I loved it and only wrote when I had the time. There came a time when the sewing didn't bring me joy any more. That's when I knew it was time to move on. I still miss sewing, but now I do it just for my family and friends.

Being a writer doesn't mean you have to be published. My husband often tells me that if I never published another book but was able to write my personal history, keep a journal, or write letters to my children, then I am still a writer.

I don't know if this helps, but I pray you will find your answers soon.

Alison Palmer said...

Thanks for your encouraging words, Stephanie. Life is all about the stages, isn't it?

Lola X said...

Absolutely fantastic blog!!! Glad I found it! Love it!!!

Lola x

Judaloo said...

Uh....give up? Not you!! Take a break? Sure! Every writer has times of not writing. You inspire me, so I know you must be a real writer. Whether you write every day or not, you are still a writer. It is in your blood, your brain, your heart. I believe in you. :)