Once again, I haven’t posted anything in a while.
I have this desire to write, and I have so many thoughts in my head that I want to write about, but somehow getting those thoughts organized and on paper is, well, hard.
I feel like I should set aside some time devoted to just writing, but I’m having a hard time fitting that in along with work, running, family time, miscellaneous chores, etc. A dilemma for all writers, I’m sure. Or anyone who is trying to find time for something creative in their life.
Writing also scares me because I’m afraid to put my thoughts down on paper and make them so concrete. But if I don’t write them down, the thoughts come and go and go away. I need to write when the inspiration hits.
Several months back I read a book by Elizabeth Gilbert called Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (see Liz’s website here). The book really resonated with me. I have never ever considered myself a “creative” person as I’ve always been way more black/white, cut and dry. I was always the person who was good at making the plan happen but wasn’t so good at coming up with the plan. I never considered myself the idea person, but I could make somebody else’s idea happen. When my children were young, I spent a lot of time sewing. I taught myself to sew, and I made these gorgeous children’s clothes that were smocked, embroidered, and appliqued. But even then I did not consider myself “creative.” I usually just used someone else’s designs and patterns, and I could make them happen, but I rarely came up with any sewing ideas of my own.
Liz Gilbert has made me rethink this somewhat in her book. I think because what I want to write about is nonfiction, I didn’t consider that “creative.” For some reason writing fiction seemed like a creative process to me but not writing nonfiction. Liz has made me think about this differently.
I also recently discovered Liz’s podcast Magic Lessons. It’s really good and has inspired me to find time to write and deal with the fear I have about writing.
I find that my courage about writing waxes and wanes a lot. Back when I was going through my cancer adventure, I had a lot of courage. I had just gone through cancer, heck, what was I afraid of with a little bit of writing? Now that life is more normal, I’m not so brave.
Liz says that whatever your creative process is, it’s worth doing just for yourself, no matter whether anyone else ever sees it or reads it. So any writing I do is for my benefit, and I need to find time to do it. Whether I decide to let anyone else read it or not, well that’s beside the point and can be decided later. But the writing needs to be done regardless, for me.
One reason I find that I want to write is that I get so tired of how “surfacey” everyday life is. People ask each other, “How are you?” Our immediate reaction is to say, “Fine.” I get tired of saying, “Fine,” because a lot of times I’m not really fine, but everyday conversation with people I barely know is not the place for conversation of any depth really. My friend, Deb, and I have been having some conversations about this, and she shared with me this video of Beth Moore (click here to view) and her take on the “fine” thing. Beth is pretty much spot on here.
And even my good friends get tired of hearing about all my baggage, I’m sure, although they are good listeners and great friends. I seem to feel guilty when I burden them with my stuff. So writing just gives me another outlet for some of the baggage.
Writing and putting my thoughts out there for others to read can be a pretty scary thing. But I find when I do this, a lot of times what I say resonates with someone out there, and I like connecting with kindred spirits.
I’ve spent the last couple of days alone in a little cabin in the woods, and I spent a little time writing while I was here. It was great and refreshing and worthwhile to spend time on. One of the benefits to getting older and being in my 50s and being done (if you’re ever really done) with raising my kids is that I can spend more time on me and spend more time doing things that are important to me personally. Not that raising my kids wasn’t important to me, but you know what I mean.
So as I return home, I hope I can commit more time to writing and putting my thoughts to paper, and I hope to share more things through this blog. Thanks for coming along on the journey with me.
My office for the last few days.