I Dream of Writing

If my paycheck depended on my writing output, I’d be standing in line with my application for unemployment benefits.  I haven’t written anything substantial in over a month.  My character development stories for novel #2 are in an indefinite holding pattern.  The storylines for that novel have been banished from my mind and are skeletons on paper patiently waiting for me to bring them to life.

They will have to wait longer.

I could lament my lack of progress and berate myself for not writing, but I won’t.  That is what I would have done two years ago, and all that would do is trigger an Oreo cookie eating binge and days of guilt over the indulgence.  Not that this has ever happened, mind you.

I choose to look at it differently.  My creativity isn’t dying on the vine; it’s merely stretching in different directions (out of necessity.)

I’m not writing fiction at the moment, but I am writing something, whether for scouts or a sporadic blog post.  (We won’t mention my even more infrequent blog post reading/commenting, okay?  I plan to do some catching up on that this weekend!)

Here are some of my creativity and/or writing credits this past week:

  • Researched and planned a picture game with 18 poisonous and non-poisonous plants and reptiles.  (The boys divided into two teams and tried to determine which ones were poisonous.)
  • Studied producers, consumers and decomposers (in nature – not politics) and prepared an exercise to test if the scouts understood the ecosystem.
  • I instructed the boys on how to build a worm habitat.  If the worms are still alive in two weeks, I’ll call it a success.
  • This evening I wrote a lengthy email to the Cub Scout Pack Trainer with my questions about the Webelos program.  I’m sure she will be ecstatic to read my latest work.  She may even ask me to autograph it.
  • I wrote two mildly entertaining blog posts.  (Okay, I exaggerated – I wrote two blog posts that may or may not have been a complete waste of time to read.)
I didn't see our earthworms smile...

Sure, I’m a little frustrated at the absence of fiction writing in my life right now.  I miss making stuff up.  I dream of writing; of having a couple hours to make a story.  But to keep my attitude from heading south for the winter, I’m choosing to look on the bright side – my accomplishments noted above .

That’s right, my glass is not just half full – it’s overflowing!

How do you cope with the ebb and flow of writing?  Do you go with it, or fight it?

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30 thoughts on “I Dream of Writing

  1. suzicate October 7, 2011 / 5:48 AM

    Throughout the various stages of our lives our writing lives stagnate, stretch, and evolve into various venues…the great thing is that it is always there waiting for us to pick up any time we wish.

    • jannatwrites October 7, 2011 / 10:39 PM

      I agree, SuziCate. I’m just in another stage of life,butI don’t know what’s coming up around the bend…

  2. Tori Nelson October 7, 2011 / 6:39 AM

    I always start by putting up a little fight. I’ve actually caught myself mid-scold as I was whisper-screaming to myself to “Shut up & write like a genius!”. You can’t force that, though, and pretty quickly I chill out and go with the flow, wait for the pep in my pen to return 🙂

    • jannatwrites October 7, 2011 / 10:41 PM

      Ha! “The pep in my pen” – I like that. Your posts are funny, so the write like a genius command must work. Maybe I should try that?

  3. nrhatch October 7, 2011 / 7:25 AM

    Sounds like your life is full to the brim, Janna . . . and I ALWAYS find your posts worth reading. 😀

    • jannatwrites October 7, 2011 / 10:49 PM

      Thanks for reading and offering support, Nancy.

      I’m cringing a bit now, because when I read the post again, I realized my last bullet point could be taken as a means to solicit praise (which was not the intent.) It was meant as a sarcastic comment to make fun of myself…that’s all. See what too little sleep does to the mind?

    • nrhatch October 8, 2011 / 9:02 AM

      If I had thought you were FISHING for compliments . . . I would NOT have taken the bait. 😀

      Write on!

      • jannatwrites October 9, 2011 / 1:21 AM

        I didn’t think you would, Nancy…but I wanted to clarify, just in case!

  4. Richard W Scott October 7, 2011 / 8:24 AM

    I’m a firm believer that any and every bit of writing you do, once you’ve taken up the mantle of writer, forwards your craft, and serves to hone your skills. It’s when you forget this that you suffer both in mind, an in skills.

    • jannatwrites October 7, 2011 / 10:52 PM

      I agree, Richard – state of mind does have a lot to do with how (if) our writing progresses. I think when the next piece is ready to be written, it will be written – even if it means I get no sleep one night!

      Thanks for sharing yoru comment.

  5. cuhome October 7, 2011 / 10:03 AM

    Janna ~~ but you’re still writing, and that keeps the practice going. Fiction or not, it’s practice, it’s creative. As a writer, what I crave is that creativity. I feel the loss if I don’t write anything ~~ maybe we’re like heroine addicts? If we don’t get our “fix” we feel like something’s missing, like we’ve been non-productive, like we’re not complete. I enjoy your blogs, whatever they’re about!!!

    • jannatwrites October 7, 2011 / 10:56 PM

      I never thought of writing compared to heroine addiction, but the feeling of accomplishment when a story is complete is a “high”, for sure. So far, I’m not feeling any ill effects from the lack of writing, but I’ll keep watch for them 🙂

      I appreciate you reading and commenting on my blog. Everyone has busy lives and I’m still amazed that such a great group of people take time out from their days to visit.

      • cuhome October 8, 2011 / 1:26 PM

        We keep coming back, because you’re good! Take that, and do your best to embrace it.

        • jannatwrites October 9, 2011 / 1:24 AM

          I’m blushing, Cuhome. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not a graceful compliment acceptor. It’s #89 on my list of self-improvements 😉

  6. Debbie October 7, 2011 / 10:52 AM

    I totally empathize! When days between my fiction-writing sessions turn into weeks, I start getting antsy. Then antsy turns to panic. Than panic turns to fear. And before you know it, you’re steeped up in a full-blown case of writer’s block. Sometimes our urge to create needs to “percolate” a while. Accept that for what it is, and don’t be so hard on yourself! Real life has a way of interjecting itself into our desire/need for entering our fictional world; this, too, shall pass. And really, look at all the writing you HAVE done!!

    • jannatwrites October 7, 2011 / 11:00 PM

      Yes, I have done quite a bit of writing (even though it’s not the kind I’d really like to do.) If I included all the wriring I’ve done at work, I would have at least a few chapters worth. (It would have to be bed-time reading, though because it’s very boring!)

      I’m disappointed that I don’t have time to write at the moment, but I’m not stressed. I’m more stressed about scout stuff 🙂

      Thanks for your support and encouragement, Debbie. I do appreciate it!

    • cuhome October 10, 2011 / 8:26 AM

      I agree with Debbie. Debbie~~ love your collie! We have a tri-color, rough collie, such gentle dogs.

      Janna, sometimes a break lets our brain breathe, gets out the cobwebs that are hanging in the way of the new ideas. And there’s no hurry.

      I can remember in school, while wrestling with a particular problem to the point of total frustration, I’d ask my super-conscious, higher self, whatever you call it, to kinda help me out while I slept . . . I was amazed at how many problems were solved and creative ideas came to me using that process. ☺

      • jannatwrites October 10, 2011 / 7:31 PM

        I’m impressed that you were able to consult your super-conscious self when at the peak of frustration. In high school, my mom rescued my homework more than once after I had gone into a book-throwing, paper-crumpling, screaming-into-a-pillow fit. (It wasn’t pretty.)

        Even in college I threw a book or two (but never touched the homework because it would have taken too long to redo it.) It’s true, though – when I walked away, I often found the path to the solution when I got back to it.

        So, it makes sense that time away from writing would have the same benefit. I never thought of it that way, though.

        Thanks, Cuhome!

        • cuhome October 10, 2011 / 8:31 PM

          Janna ~~remember, the only reason my “super” conscious, or higher self, or whatever you choose to name it, worked, was that I was asleep while it was working ! Believe me, if I’d been awake, I’d have been my own worst enemy! I just meant that sometimes our minds can keep working out problems when we’re asleep. 🙂

        • jannatwrites October 10, 2011 / 9:50 PM

          Okay, that makes me feel better, Cuhome 🙂 Thanks!

  7. Judith October 7, 2011 / 12:55 PM

    I read and enjoy your blog posts as do many others -look at the comments above. It is frustrating when life is so busy with other things that there doesn’t seem to be time to do what you want – ie writing. But you are writing, whether it is fiction or fact. I agree your cup is overflowing!

    • jannatwrites October 7, 2011 / 11:03 PM

      Whenever I get bothered by the volume of “stuff” going on, I remind myself that in a few short years, the kids probably won’t want to spend as much time with me. It puts it in perspective for me. It’s just another way to make me learn patience, I think 🙂

      I’m glad you stopped by and shared your thoughts, Judith!

  8. pattyabr October 7, 2011 / 9:30 PM

    I too am in a holding pattern I feel like I’ve been patiently waiting for the next chapter in my life to begin. I’m still researching the topic, the outline and the prologue are really long.

    To get from point A to point B takes a step by step approach and some planning. It will not just happen. Continue to plug along and patiently wait. Do not worry and the answer will appear.

    I still have goals I would like to achieve. I haven’t formulated how to move forward yet. And my writing is also reflective of that. Previous motivation was fueled by other’s needs or of avoidance. Now my motivation must come from deep within. Listen to my heart. Listen to my soul. Find my compass. You will too.

    • jannatwrites October 7, 2011 / 11:08 PM

      It’s interesting that you mention motivation, Patty. There has to be some type of emotional committment to the writing for it to happen. Writing for others or to avoid something can’t possibly make a fulfilling writing journey.

      I hope your heart and soul lead you to your compass so that you may embark on the next chapter of your life and writing project. As always, thanks for your thoughtful input, Patty!

  9. Carl D'Agostino October 8, 2011 / 6:57 AM

    A cartoon idea takes just as much inspiration and from whence unknown explosion of imagination as does a novel. The difference from idea to sketch to finished redraw takes 25 minutes not months or years. Hey, after a while you are going to write a charmingly funny and delightful book about being a cub scout mom . Just keep a journal for now.,

    • jannatwrites October 9, 2011 / 1:20 AM

      I really should keep a journal, Carl. I’ve never been good about documenting my secret thoughts, though (makes it too easy for someone to get into my head ;))

      One day, I do hope to write something that I am satisfied with and that will entertain others. Thanks for the support, Carl!

  10. pattisj October 8, 2011 / 5:44 PM

    Just look at your real-life camping adventure, etc, and realize you are doing research for your next book. 🙂 I’m with Carl, keep a journal for now. One day, it will all come together. I’m “cruising” right now, thinking about trying NaNoWriMo in November.

    • jannatwrites October 9, 2011 / 1:25 AM

      Wow, NaNoWriMo….that’s quite a challenge, Patti! I followed others’ journey through it last year and I was amazed at anyone who would take on such a challenge – in November, no less.

      Good luck – I hope you blog about it if you jump into the challenge!

  11. Jackie Paulson Author October 9, 2011 / 11:28 PM

    It’s okay to take a break from writing. I appreciate that you stopped by my blog. I am amazed at what you did accomplish above. Give yourself that credit and we will support you no matter what. That is what friends are for. Thanks for sharing this and how you really feel.

    • jannatwrites October 10, 2011 / 7:32 PM

      Thanks for stopping by and reading this post, Jackie. From reading your blog, I know you’ve been very busy! I’m not beating myself up over the non-writing, but I do miss it!

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