Last night I was out with a couple friends I haven’t seen for a long time, and one of them asked me how the writing was going. It was a good time to ask the question since I have been pondering that very thing for several weeks now, especially in preparation for setting goals for the new year.
Talking about it proved to be more productive than thinking about it.
I’ve lost much of my drive to write, lately, and there are two reasons I am considering as the cause: Am I burned out? If so, maybe I should take a break. Or, am I bored because I’ve come to the end of my natural ability? If so, I need to press in to new challenges.
But as I described these scenarios out loud to my friends, another possibility occurred to me. What I think might be happening, is that I’m tired of talking about myself. Really. I’m over it. You will not see me selling my story to the tabloids for 1 million dollars.
I have other things I’m interested in writing about: things I hear about, things I read online, thoughts on books I read or music I listen to, questions about politics. I have a long list of web pages bookmarked on my computer under “blog this.”
The problem? Several things. First, writing about something other than myself requires more brain power, more thought, more consideration, more time in The Zone – none of which I feel I have at the moment. Sometimes I put stuff out there that makes me cringe, because I know that given a little more time and a little less distraction, I could come up with something a little less cliche and a little more brilliant.
I become jealous of other people who seem to have more time to make it work, or who have more talent to write excellently within the little time they have. I become dissatisfied with my lack of time, and it turns to bitterness that I then take out on my family. I can easily lose sight of the conscious choices I’ve made and the priorities I’ve set.
Secondly, writing about stuff that’s more outside of myself feels like a departure from the identity of The Pile I’m Standing In. Not a bad thing (in fact, some might be thinking IT’S ABOUT TIME), but something that’s out of my element. I am, after all, a narcissistic artist type, so making it more about something besides me is a little threatening.
Thirdly, I’m afraid I won’t be interesting. I can drone on and on about my anger or depression or my challenges as a parent because I know somebody out there relates to me and finds my struggle somehow helpful or encouraging, if not at least comforting at the thought of not being alone. But what if all the other stuff I have to say is just not interesting?
I think at this very moment as I write this, I may be taking myself too seriously. After all, why not just write what I feel like writing? Why make a big production out of it? But in thinking about my goals for the year, I want to consider some writing goals, and in order to do that I need to figure out what I want. And right now I feel like I don’t know what I want. I feel trapped in the land of Preschooler Motherhood and I will never escape to Adulthood again. I feel like I will never have time to become the writer I know I can be.
Whine. Whine. Whine.
Complain. Complain. Complain.
Maybe I’m not done writing about my stupid boring life, yet.
Did I mention I was on my period? One should never try to set goals while on her period.
And you’re welcome for that TMI.