Tuesday, April 14, 2015

the time will pass

Oh man, yesterday was such a crummy day. Bad at the beginning and bad financial news all the way at the ending. I texted John before he even got home that I needed to get away from the house that night and would he mind very much taking over so I could go somewhere alone. I never do that, so I think he knew it had been a rough day.

So after dinner, I grabbed my laptop and headphones and headed off to the local coffee joint and ordered myself the biggest hot cocoa they had (with some peppermint flavor for good measure) and wrote for the next few hours until they closed. It was just what I needed.

these cat pictures have nothing to do with the post, I just felt like a pictureless post is a travesty

Truth be told, lately it's been easy for me to talk myself down about my writing project. I have about 60 pages. I haven't made much progress in terms of adding pages for about a month because I have been going back through what I wrote and majorly revamping everything--adding more details, taking out awkward sentences (of which I write many. I am the queen of passive voice. What do I have against getting straight to the verbs I ask you?!) Also, I am sort of terrible at describing the expressions on people's faces without it feeling cheesy to me. Honestly, I don't think I am cut out for fiction. It feels silly sometimes.

Some days I am just really down on myself about the time that I devote to writing something that likely isn't terribly good. I don't know why I push and push at it. Some days I just feel like an impostor. A wanna-be.

But on the days that I have scheduled to write and don't get around to it, I feel sad. My life feels monotonous without it. It's really hard work--making up plots and characters and trying to nuance out people's feelings by their actions is really difficult. When I read books now, I marvel at how good even "nominally" talented writers are at what they do. I have more compassion now that it's me trying to coax words out of thin air. It's much easier to write about literature, or my life. My brain struggles and stammers and uses thesaurus.com a lot to get even the simplest sentences just right.

My very good friend, who has done a million interesting things in her life, is the most encouraging person I know when it comes to creativity. She let me borrow her creative work bible (Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit), and she makes me feel like this whole thing isn't a fools errand. The best thing she ever said to me was, "Whether or not you're writing this book and it takes you two years or five years--that time will pass anyway. So why not?"

So, if you're out there and feeling the same way about something that you're attempting to do, maybe her advice will help you. It puts things into a sort of manageable perspective doesn't it? The way I parent, the way I am involved with the projects of my life--I can just endure them for two years, or I can try something interesting and hopeful. The time will pass either way.


Kelly said...

What great advice! That might have to be a life motto for me!

RaeLynn said...

I love this sentiment. There are several things I can fill the next few years with. The next forever with, actually. I like that way of thinking!

Emily Foley said...

I'm sorry about your bad day, those are the worst. Though it sounds like it ended okay? I think you're a hero for writing. Whether or not it feels silly, you're doing it. And that is amazing.