Sunday, November 05, 2006

Block and Write

How ironic my 101th post should be about writer's block.

I usually tell people there's no such thing as writer's block. It's all self-imposed. Truckers don't have truckers' block. They just keep on truckin'. Writers have to keep on writing.

Since last Spring there's been a lot of things in my life on the homefront, family and work. I feel I've had to shoulder a lot of emotional and sometimes, physical burdens. I have had to be strong for a lot of people. Some of it has gotten better and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Others are still open and all we can do is hope for the best, knowing it will all come together in time. Nothing in life is permanent. Bad times end like good times end.

I feel that my creativity has been a victim of this unexpected stress. It's been sucked out. I've lost passion for writing and tapping into my creative Spirit. It sounds very Oprah-esque, but I really do believe in my creative Spirit.

When I write poetry, I close my eyes and type. I listen to my thoughts, not editing or correcting, just listening and writing. Oftentimes I open my eyes and am amazed by what I've written. I've found old poems and do not remember writing them, though it's definitely me. (Ok, now my faithful readers are saying "chick's gone psycho from the stress." Maybe.). I would write a few poems a week - sitting in a weekly meeting, waiting for a file to unzip or process. Whenever and wherever it struck me to write, I wrote.

Last April, I got organized about my writing and tapped into my project management skills. Organizing my poems was an overwhelming task. I have them on disks, on work laptop, home PC, work notebook, pieces of paper in the kitchen and wherever I was when the creative spirit moved me. My other problem was I would come across Calls for Submissions and would miss the deadlines.

I estimated I had 16 hours of poetry compilation into one master document. I don't have 16 hours to spare in my life. However, I do have 1-2 hours over 8 days so I could handle that. I created a Word document table to track submissions, highlighting upcoming dates, contact info and recording what work I sent (filename, date, etc.) I was quite on top of this and saw immediate successes to being organized. I started categorizing and indexing my 200 poems.

Now, it's Fall and the stress of this summer has zapped me. I was bringing working on spreadsheets rather than my creative efforts. I've had to write "Missed Deadline" on my tracking form.

I need to get back into my creative efforts, but lately my work has been book reviews, articles and blogs. I don't know if anyone has noticed by I'm posting other people's poems and not my own anymore. I preferred to redesign my blogsite rather than write when I had a quiet evening to myself. I picked up an anthology of poetry off my bookshelf and was so disinterested. I'm actually reading Hilary Clinton's book right now. (I've had my head in Rohinton Mistry, anthologies by Indian, British writers and multiracial writers for the last few months. I need to clear my palette).

I'm not sure what I need to do to kick start and wake up my creative Spirit. I've trying doing a Yahoo Search on "Writer's Block" and found some "ok" websites that tell you basic things. I searched "find passion" and ended up with personal classified listings (oops! wrong search words!).

I used to write about this stuff and give advice to others. I have a few books for writers. My favorites are Gail Sher, "One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers" and Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird".

However, I don't know if that's enough. I need to find that spark, a fire, ma raison d'etre for writing. I think I need to do something different in my life - take a trip, take a risk or step away from the uncomfortable rut.


Sirensongs: Indologist At Large said...

Thanks for the link!
Speaking of writers' block...
I am waaaayyyy behind on my blogging. (eeek)

Anonymous said...


the comment pop-up is great! thanks! don't know what to do with the FF/IE thing. i like that the background is lighter and makes for easier reading . but the rest of the colors on the page could use more harmony.


Anonymous said...

Why do you like this pop-up comment? I find it annoying now and the box is so small! (I'm not sure how to maximize it.)

Also, what colors in particular seem disharmonic? Thanks for your feedback!

General question - anyone know how Blogger can make links open in new windows, rather than leaving my site?

Anonymous said...

i like the pop-up because it doesnt hijack me away from the page. i dont like having to go to another page to read comments and then come back to the home page to see other links.

if you dont like it, then you should do away with it :-) i hated it in the beginning too but now am telling everyone to enable it !

blue and green in general is a great combo. but there are two shades of violet, one blue and two shades of green, actually 3 (the bullets against the links on the right) on the entire page. The colors feel busy. It could very well be something to do with my monitor's settings and nothing to do with the blog!


Anonymous said...

Speaking of writing, here is a link that offers a collection of analogies gathered from high school essays:


My Favorites:
23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

Here are more tips.

Anonymous said...

Cool thanks for the link - she has a list of those words that are misused and missed by spell-checkers.

Asterisk - I don't have violet..just a deep periwinkle and cornflower blue. I had chosen the periwinkle to pick up one of the colors from the header (that blurry image on top). Ok, let me play around next time and see if I can do anything.