I almost didn’t even start this post.
As I finally got out of bed this morning, the urge to write again finally came over me. The inspiration was there, with the subject matter of… well, writing again after a long absence. A simple enough topic. And a valid one; absolutely valid. Really, anything is valid – it’s my damn blog.
But a hesitation crept when I thought of a title: “Now let’s not make a big to-do about this”. That phrase is at once the title of this blog entry, as well as a summary of my hesitation.
I didn’t want this to be a big deal. But it has been. I don’t even have to look at my WordPress logs to see that I haven’t posted anything since November of last year. (Note: this post will not be about why I haven’t written, but rather the concept of writing after not writing for awhile).
It’s not a big deal, but it feels that way. Or it feels like it should be something of a momentous occasion: “Up-and-coming writer returns to his passion after several-month gap! Read all about it!”
It’s not a big deal, or at least I don’t want it to be. I want it to be as natural as it was last year: When inspiration strikes, I write. If it doesn’t strike, I look for it, and I write. If I still can’t find it, I write about that if need be.
In short, after several months of not writing I have been struggling to write. It simply hasn’t been there. Somehow I completely fell off track. I was on a roll last summer and fall, the most prolific I’d ever been with my writing (outside of university essays and papers). I was proud of myself.
And then things went all pear-shaped (revolving around money, of course) and my self-confidence took a big hit. With that came a lot of self-guilt tripping. “Why aren’t you writing? Why’d you stop? Aren’t you a writer? Isn’t this your passion? Should’t you be doing it no matter what?”
Which is unfair. Completely unfair. But at the same time, there’s an element of truth in that worth considering. It’s mainly because I look with envy towards artists who speak of pouring their emotions – especially the negative ones – into their work, and subsequently remain productive. Through it all, they work, and their work helps them get through the hard times.
It’s harder for me. When times are tough, especially economic ones, I feel a tremendous need to be financially productive. In these times I’m generally either working a day job to make money, or relaxing at night or on weekends. There’s little artistic productivity.
Obviously, I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Obviously, I should work at re-prioritizing things, re-structuring my daily life so I can be actively writing in spite of feeling physically and mentally tired from the work day/week.
I should also be more realistic and honest about how I consider myself to be a writer: I am a writer. Massive output be damned; comparing myself to other, more productive writers really be damned. I am my own writer, and I am growing. I am working towards becoming a fully productive and prolific writer. It will come.
I simply must be patient. And through it all, I will do my best to write what I can, when I can.
So welcome back to the keyboard, me. Let’s make at least a little to-do about this.