Ever just get the feeling that you just don’t want to write anything?
I do. Like right now. I can give a million excuses, but at the end of the day, I just don’t feel it.
I kind of hate to admit it, but how I feel greatly influences my desire to write. Periods where I take time for myself, time to be quiet, are times that I’m most likely to feel like writing. Times when I’m distracted by ten million external sources and my mind is over-engaged are times when I really just don’t want to. I’d rather do something else.
I don’t particularly like that about myself. Writing should be something I want to do. I know what it does for me, how it helps me process difficult emotions or puts words to concepts that have only just begun to come together in my mind. Still, I have to be in the right frame of mind.
Now I sit here and struggle with a sense of guilt and shame. All because I don’t really want to do something that I love, something that brings me to life.
I stand at a crossroads, albeit a small one. As I see it, I have two choices:
I can give in
I can let the guilt and shame win. I can say to myself, what’s one missed week? I can let myself be distracted by everything life has to throw at me right now. This wasn’t ever really going to work long term. I knew that from the beginning. I’d treat it the same way I treat most things – it will hold my attention for a time, but then something will happen and I’ll move on. It’s easier that way. I can say I did it for a while, but then I moved on to work on something else.
I can embrace it
No, I don’t pull up my bootstraps and just do the dang thing. I don’t fight my emotions, wrestling them under control and writing anyway. I’ve tried to fight, to force it. The advice I’ve gotten from people in the past usually looks like this: ‘fight, push forward, ignore the feelings.’ That doesn’t work. Maybe for a single post I can crank something out, but it doesn’t keep me going.
That feeling is still there, or rather the lack of feeling. Why? There it is, the real question.
Taking a step back
Instead of fighting it, I can sit in it and embrace it, asking ‘Why? How did I get here? What changed? What is missing?’
I can answer all of those questions for myself, assuming I give myself some time. Once they’re answered, processed, embraced – everything begins settles down. Pulling myself up by my bootstraps doesn’t fix the underlying cause, it just buries it, ignores it.
One day I’d like to think these doubts, insecurities, frustrating feelings won’t plague me anymore. Then I remember that I’m human, and this is a journey. This is my journey and I don’t want it marked with shame and ‘shoulds.’
I’m learning to embrace the detours along the road. I’m learning that my journey doesn’t have a hard and fast destination and that the times of rest as just as much a part of the journey as anything else.