New Year Resolutions and Other Blah

Resolutions: write at least three times a week and blog at least once a week. Ta-da! There you go. Okay, sure, this post is a few days late… about four. But it’s my once a week, right?

My writing groove seems to have returned after several weeks of blah here and there. Not that that’s a surprise; I had a surplus of time, and lately I’ve been limited on time with work. As soon as responsibilities start demanding my attention – ding! Hello voices in my head, wanting me to write the words.

An author friend of mine told me a long time ago that when friends of hers go on vacation to write, they really don’t get much done after the first few days. The creativity dries up. Nothing seems to happen. Somehow, stress is an inspiration that pressure cooks writing creativity into existence. Not that that works for everyone, and that’s not to say that the daily grind of in and out work isn’t an excellent killer of the creative. Because it really can be. I guess my point is that writing comes from somewhere. When everything is stagnation, whether that is sitting at home doing nothing or having your soul slowly sucked from you by work, there’s is little to spark creativity (not to mention the lack of time).

I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here.

The subject of how writers get themselves to write seems to be coming up a lot lately. Probably because of New Years Resolutions. Some people have it a lot easier, and some have a harder time getting themselves to actually sit down and write. I read a post the other day about one such writer who saw other writers feverishly immersed in the world of stories and felt she was wrong somehow because she did not feel this way. She deeply enjoyed writing, and identified as a writer through and through, but did not feel the same feverish compulsion. She goes on to explain the relief she felt after a conference where a famous author spoke about her own struggles with writing, and how sometimes it was months between sitting down to hammer out projects.

I can’t quite empathize because I’m one of those who seems to live and breathe it. Sure, I’ll go through my dry spells or focus on other things for a while, but the daydreaming and feverish working of plot lines in my head is an almost constant companion. Sometimes it even feels like it’s own entity, rising up to drag me by the hair in whatever direction it sees fit.

I’m always fascinated by all the different ways that writers write.

There’s a theory out there that writers channel muses. That we tap into something beyond ourselves, call it God or creativity or what have you. It’s not science. No one person does this the same. I’d say that some Muses are little hellions that scream constantly, and some are quieter and need a little more coaxing before they’ll come out to play. Then add in ‘our’ problems – work, kids, family, whatever mental problems we’ve managed to inherit or develop – and it all has to power to bring that novel we’re working on to a grinding halt. There’s this fine line between not forcing something that can’t be forced and coaxing out our creativity/Muse/talent in our own singular ways that have to be adapted for our own singular neuroses. Sure, a lot of us are similar enough that we can find help in the writing community around us. But writing is ultimately an individual act, and our Muses are all probably different too. Only you really know what these are for you.

You’re the one who has to figure out where the line is between forcing creativity too much and letting life pass you by. And you’re the only one who can change stagnation, make life happen, and channel your creativity.

So, I suppose the point of this post is, go out and shake things up! (I was going to say ‘go out and conquer,’ but you probably don’t want to destroy or subjugate your Muse – you’re going to need it later when you’re stuck.) Fortunately, you’re not alone. We’re all struggling with finding the same balance – and we’re all rooting for you.

Welcome to 2015. Let’s make it great.

About R. K. Brainerd

I've been writing since my pre-teens, mostly in the realm of fantasy and sci-fi. Taking interesting concepts and dropping complex characters into fantastical worlds is my jam. I also raise dairy goats and herd cats, the evidence of which can be found on my Instagram. Welcome to the adventure. View all posts by R. K. Brainerd

2 responses to “New Year Resolutions and Other Blah

  • Catherine Lynn

    Writing is an experience that’s different for each person. That’s why I try not to judge my own productivity or success by what I see other authors doing. I actually write better when there’s no stress and I’m totally relaxed.


    • Aspire to Fly

      Definitely about the not judging based on other writers. That’s what I was trying to get across here, hopefully somewhat understandably! Sometimes I get really intimidated with how fast other writers get things out there. I just have no idea how they do it.

      And for sure about the not writing under stress! I don’t necessarily write when I’m stressed (usually bad things happen when I try that), but it seems like that one saying applies to me: have 100 things to do, get a 101 done, have nothing to do, get nothing done. Not sure why.


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