No matter how deeply I dug today, I could not for the life of me find the will to write a blog post. No thoughts. No desire. No nothing.
So I was excited this afternoon when a friend told me about a free creative writing workshop tonight at a nearby library. The speaker was a local author who has written a memoir and was giving a talk about how to write ‘your personal narrative.’ I don’t necessarily want to write a book – I am far too lazy, among other things – but I figured it could still be motivating. Or at the very least, a change of scenery.
But lots of rain led to bad traffic, which led to my husband being late, which led to me being late, which led to the workshop being standing room only by the time I got there, with no room for me. Boooooo.
It’s not like I had been planning to attend for days, but I was still bummed. Not to mention for some reason it was totally demotivating to see ALL of those other wannabe writers pouring out of that room. So many storytellers! It’s not possible they can all find an interested audience! Don’t quit your day jobs!
Cue the downward spiral of negativity in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1: What the hell am I even doing here? What am I trying to accomplish with this silly blog anyway? Find a different hobby! Get a job! Get a life!
So I took my pity party back home, grabbed my laptop before my kids could see me and start screaming, and hightailed it to a nearby coffee shop in a half-assed attempt to write some words. And then I just felt like a cliché – “Hello, I am a blogger, and I am here to do some blogging, so may I please have some peace, quiet, a decaf latte and somewhere to hang my trendy hat?”
Gaahhhhh. Head meet table.
But then I slapped myself upside the head and remembered this recent SNL skit, which features a stellar motivational speaker. Her uplifting words reminded me to stop being such a “lady baby” and believe in myself. And also to punctuate my conversations with more hip thrusts and sound effects, because the world needs more of that.
This concludes my mid-NaBloPoMo crisis. No more whining. Onward! [insert tiger roar]
*My headline is my favorite quote from the skit, but I reserve the right to change it if I start to get a bunch of porn comments on this post.
Struggle helps make the story. I’ve been struggling myself this week and had some professional setbacks as well, but I’ve decided that just means the plot is moving along. Wish I had some advice to give you, but I’ve been reading a series of advice from authors and found some comfort last night in Ray Bradbury. I especially like the last one!
I guess I would say to remind yourself of why you’re writing: because you love it, plain and simple. And try not to overthink (I have some prompts that are designed to distract your left brain to allow your right brain to create). In case these help you as well, my friend!
Ray Bradbury’s #WritingTips: “Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world.” #FeedYourMuse
Ray Bradbury’s #WritingTips: “The only good writing is intuitive writing. I have a sign by my typewriter that reads, DON’T THINK!”
Ray Bradbury’s #WritingTips: “All of the good, weird stories I’ve written were dredged out of my subconscious.”
Ray Bradbury’s #WritingTips: Use word association to ignite creativity. “You don’t know what’s in you until you test it.” #TrustYourMuse
Ray Bradbury’s #WritingTips: “Don’t worry, don’t push. Just do your work, be joyful, be loving, be explosive. Out of that comes everything.”
Ray Bradbury’s #WritingTips: Write for that one reader who will come up to you and say, “I love you for what you do.”
Ray Bradbury’s #WritingTips: “You fail only if you stop writing.” #WriteEveryDay
Ray Bradbury’s #WritingTips: “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” #WriteEveryDay
Dayum girl. Thank you for this. Those are good tips. I hope they help you as well! Overthinking is the enemy. Stay drunk!!!
I got to see Delia Ephron speak at the Texas Conference for Women last week, and she almost made it sound easy how she started making a name for herself. But that was a different time. Someone asked the question (which was also my question, but that’s neither here nor there) of how do we help ourselves stand out from the herd when there are SO MANY other people pushing content out there? We can’t just send an essay to the NY Times and get offered a book deal the next day like she did.
ANYWAY, her advice was not to waste big ideas on little things. In the blogging world we are so quick to have an idea and say “I need to get that out there! Type type type publish publish publish!” She said to sit on it. Think about it. Ask yourself “What do I have here?” More than once I’ve hit publish on a post that was important to me and taken it right back down because it wasn’t quite right. I do like writing quick things now and then, but the things that are really going to help you expand your writing are the ones that you really look at and scrutinize and work the hell out of before you publish. And maybe even think “Does this have a potential home somewhere else, other than my blog?”
So I’ll just use this as the excuse as to why I haven’t written on my blog in over a week. (Actually my MIL is in town and I have had no alone/thinky time.)
THIS. Yes. This. This is why I have been struggling with this NaBloPoMo. I am often – not always – a sllooow writer. I prefer to take my time with edits. I don’t like feeling rushed. I would probably enjoy the experience of NaBloPoMo more if I had a smidge more free/thinky/me time on a daily basis. But some days I have almost none, so getting a post written has been so hard on those days. So I am squeezing out random stuff just for the purpose of posting. It has its merits, but I don’t think I’m in the best life position to be a daily poster. Also as a reader, I will stay loyal to a blog if I like the content regardless of the frequency of the posts.
p.s. I hope the conference was great! It’s so nice to hear other perspectives sometimes. That’s what I was itching for when I got elbowed out of the crowded room.
I struggle with what to post on my blog or save for something bigger, but then I wonder, what if this is as big as it gets? I may never get a book deal or anything else for that matter. There is a lot of competition. So, I don’t know. I think I like blogging because nobody can tell me no. I’m not filtered and I don’t have to ask for permission. I just get to force myself upon the world. Carpe Diem!
P.S. Don’t take advice from me, obviously.
You ARE a force. I hear you – the inevitable rejection of trying to write elsewhere seems like such a downer. Blog on!