Ten years of writing is a long time. I started my writing with extreme panic and trepidation of having to “share” with a group of strangers who I felt were all future Pulitzer Prize Winners. Until then, my writing was for me alone to read and admire. I had no one to critique me, no one to ask, “what does that mean?” Now, ten years later, I have gotten over my fear of public rejection by creating meaningful reasons to explain my lack of writing.
I’m sure you can all relate to having a blank page, which is why I’m sharing my excuses with you, my fellow writing members. Please feel free to use them should your creativity run dry or your lack of enthusiasm overpowers your need to write.
1. My underwear was too tight causing me to pucker. How could I concentrate?
2. My brain hurts..
3. My computer took a dump.
4. I had no paper or writing utensils.
5. I have no feathered hat to wear.
6. I had to clean the house before I could feel “together.”
7. The world situation is too much for me to bear.
8. I ran out of my meds. The voices in my head won’t go away.
9. The damn sun was too bright and hurt my eyes.
10. I had to prepare for the triathlon.
11. The neighbors were mowing their lawn.
12. The neighbors mowed grass triggered my sinus problem.
13. I had to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas.
14. I had to shop for the 12 days of Christmas.
15. I had to wrap packages for the 12 days of Christmas.
16. Winter makes me so tired.
17. Leaves, leaves, leaves. Rake, rake, rake. They never stop coming down.
18. I have a deadline at work.
19. Do you know how long it takes to pick lint off a navy suit?
20. I need a break.
21. My fingers have been so sore I can’t type.
22. My family needs me right now.
23. I can’t pull myself away from the news.
24. I’m just too happy these days.
25. Our power went off for days.
26. I had to feed the hungry.
27. Hawaii. How could I turn that down?
28. The trip was exhausting.
29. Do you have any idea how many weeds I have to pull out?
30. Someone has to do it. No writing today.
31. Time has just flown by. Next meeting, I promise.
32. Volunteerism is very important.
33. 42 days locked in a room with Dr. Phil.
34. Looking for “it.”
35. I can’t seem to get “it” together.
36. The soaps are all at a climax.
37. I had to organize all my photos from the last thirty years.
38. I have to explore my spirituality at this time in my life.
39. I have no time to myself.
40. I felt the earth move. My equilibrium must be off.
41. My feet go numb when I sit too long.
42. I’ve been reading Oprah’s latest book club selection. I just can’t put it down.
43. I’m changing the world–one person at a time.
44. Keeping watch for foreign invasion is taking up most of my time.
45. Ten years of rewrites and it can’t be found!
46. Dejected, rejected. Who gives a crap anymore?
47. I’m in doubt, so I don’t.
48. The trouble is, is that he won’t leave me alone to my thoughts.
49. I’ll let everyone else in the group have a turn.
50. Success is really just the journey, not the completion.
I wrote the above 10 years ago. Hard to believe, but now I am in a better place, and I actually am writing. Lately I have taken up the book, Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg. It is a book I had to read twenty years ago in my creative writing class in college. I recommend this book to anyone who is a writer of any type of genre. So what can we do if ideas or creativity starts to run dry?
1.Meet with a writing friend or friends for coffee to share what you have been writing. With the ease of email, a meeting isn’t required, but it is much nicer to get out with your writing and your friend. When I do this it does spur me on to have something to share.
2. Start or join a writer’s group. Natalie lived in Taos, New Mexico, so there was never a shortage of writers, but in your area or mine, they aren’t always so easy to find. You may want to contact your local bookstore or library to find out where they are located. If there are none, start one! I’m in a wonderful group- The Shelby Writer’s Group- and together we share, critique and just enjoy the time spent with other writers. I hate to use the word TRIBE as it is so overused for running with like-minded people, but I have to relent and say they are my “Tribe”.
3. Treat yourself! Don’t beat yourself up if ideas don’t come. Use the time to go exploring or share in others creative endeavors. It doesn’t have to be writing. Go to an art show, or a poetry reading. Others’ creativity can excite yours.
4. Start a list of ideas that just seem to pop in your head from the universe. Write them down and use them in those slow turtle times. As you think of one or two, just add to your list.
5. Journal. I keep a journal on my bedside table. I write whatever comes to mind of my day, my issues, etc. Silly ideas and glorious lists of gratitude are written. It’s also fun to look back and see some personal growth as time passes.
6. Use a pen and paper to connect. Remember them? There is nothing like the feeling of the pen in your hand with a new legal pad. The physical connection of the pen in the hand and the paper can speed up the writing process.
7. Just write to write! Throw away the rules you have learned. You aren’t in school anymore and there is no one to correct you. The freedom this brings! There are no A’s or F’s– just pure writing.
8. Just relax, take a deep breath, and walk like the turtle if that helps get to where you need to go. Eventually you will get there with the calmness of a Zen Master and the peace of a turtle.
Any comments from other writer’s I would certainly appreciate.