Sadly, it took all day to get this written and posted…

Down another 4.something pounds from last week’s weigh in. That makes for a total of 8.8lbs over the course of the first two weeks on Jenny Craig. Not an overly dramatic loss, but not a gain either, so that’s good.

Now that the mundane stuff is out of the way, I am going to switch gears….

I caught about an hour and a half of a show last week (or maybe even two weeks ago now). Normally I wouldn’t mention anything about a TV show because, really, TV is boring and the crutch of modern society (ok, except for Feasting on Asphalt, THAT show rocks!). This particular show was a taped conference panel/lecture from a Writer’s Symposium featuring Joyce Carol Oates as the speaker.

Ever since my introduction to writing in high school, I have had a deep appreciation and love for Joyce Carol Oates’ writings. More particularly her short works, though her novels are amazingly well written as well. There is something in Joyce’s voice on paper that drew me in from the first story I read: “Where are you going? Where have you been?”

While I don’t think I can credit her –completely- for sparking and subsequently encouraging my desire to write (both as a hobby and for a living), I do hold her in high regard as both an influence and an inspiration. In fact, I find it amusing to have two “Joyces” so close on that small list; the second being, of course, James Joyce, for nearly the exact same reasons. But I digress…

I realized, while watching Joyce speak to an unseen audience about non-fiction writing, that my own hobby level writing has come to a dead stop and my professional writing has transformed from actual writing to more of an “editor” level capacity while I correct the technical documents and articles being written by my knowledgebase teams out of Bangalore. The only “hobby” writing I have done in the past few years has been in this journal, which as fun as it is, I don’t think really counts. On top of that, I found out that one of my support reps who immigrated here a few years back from Romania, has recently published a book of poetry in his native tongue and in his native country! While the translation he sent me was sub-par, I have no doubts that in the original Romanian his words bloom and flourish beautifully to convey his thoughts in a way that only poetry can deliver.

I can hear you all asking now, “Well if you want to write, then why don’t you just WRITE?!”. Ah, if it were only that easy! I have no doubts that if I could write for a living, I would be much more prolific, but alas, when my work day is done, and I actually have time to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard as it is now), I am greeted by a decided lack of motivation and desire as well as an overall exhaustion preventing me from DOING anything other than turning my brain off and watching “COPS” for hours on end. I long for a day where I could have the luxury of time and a lack of responsibility to just sit and pontificate and spew words out onto paper and see what comes of it.

Even when I do feel energized enough to do anything, my muse seems to have left me high and dry. While I have the desire to write, I can’t seem to find anything of import to write about. I think I need to begin doing some daily or weekly exercises to get me writing again. Perhaps some general character sketches or tackling all my old work in a review/revamp capacity will get me moving forward in a positive fashion. Perhaps I need to do the Jenny Craig for writers, where all topics and assignments for my writing are defined by some seemingly arbitrary yet clearly structured menu system designed to provide the highest return on my investment. Perhaps I just need strict deadlines for creative works with random topics to get me moving forward again.

At the very least, I know I should start reading both Joyces again, as well as some of my other favourite authors; there’s nothing worse than a writer who doesn’t read. And while technical writing is a very good thing for me and my career, it doesn’t quite quell that desire to create something FOR myself rather than for consumption in some professional or commercial way. Looks like it is time to start assigning myself homework…

7 thoughts on “Sadly, it took all day to get this written and posted…

  1. Writter’s duldrums

    OK, this is based on my experience drawing not in writing but I assume that the drive and muse portions remain the same. I find that I am in a similar boat when it comes to drawing to how you are about writing excepting I don’t think so highly of my works so this should be at least a little easier for you.
    1. Creation is sometimes like exercise. Even if you love to do it, when you are tired you don’t want too. So like exercise, you need to make it part of your daily routine. Regimentally at first and eventually it will just be something you do. Say that you start with each day set aside 1/2 hour just before or after work to scribble something down. Stream of conscious like if need be.
    2. Don’t worry about whether or not your subject is “of import” or no. As with graphic arts, something will be drawn from any exercise you undertake. You should think of these daily writings like a painter would think of sketching. It’s just practice and and you should not be looking to shake the world with the results. Sometimes you will find a gem in the sketches that can be revisited more formally and then can blossom into the world shaking work you strive to write.
    3. Just do it. You’ve got the time if you are watching COPS and it doesn’t take much more energy to scribble a description of the random object at hand or even a review of the Cops episode you are watching. Hell, what I’m talking about you could do in the intermissions if you simply can’t pull yourself away from the dreaded tube for a 1/2 an hour.

    1. Re: Writter’s duldrums

      Creating is creating whether it be writing, drawing, sculpting, etc…

      1. Yup, it is exactly like exercise, which is why I seem to have such a block against it 🙂
      2. I never have worried about “importance of subject”. That is one of the first things I was taught as a creative writing major. No worries there 🙂
      3. Motivation to power through the mental exhaustion after a work day is the defining factor here more than just simple time. When watching TV, I can turn my brain off. Can’t do that when writing.

  2. 1) Congratulations on the weight loss! You read what I wrote to Jean–slow and steady really is better.

    2) Of course it’s not as easy as “If you want to write, why don’t you just write?” But then…it IS that easy, too. The friends I have who make a living as writers do exactly that–they write. All day. Which requires an amount of discipline I just don’t have, and an amount of passion I don’t have. I think there are ways to write besides devoting yourself to the craft, but it’s a tricky line, as you note.

    3) Have you tried any of the “writer’s block” prompts here on LJ?

    1. Slow and steady IS better, but damn it, I want to be thin NOW! 🙂

      Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of writing all day, every day. Something about this 40+ work week that saps me of all my mental energy keeps me from just writing.

      No, I haven’t tried the prompts. I didn’t even realize they existed! Not to worry though, I have books filled with “exercises” and prompts designed to get me writing. I just have to actually open them up and DO them!

      I guess this post is really just a lament over how un-motivated I am. And that, I fear, is nothing anyone but myself can help me move past. I don’t necessarily WANT to write creatively for a living, all I really want is the energy to write enough to help quell the creative urges I do have. A tricky line indeed.

      1. Ooo, I know…

        You could write that whole back story thing out. That’d give you something to write about and if I recall it correctly, it was pretty funny to boot. Funny always makes a task easier to do.

  3. I hear you on the writing stuff. I’ve been a little better about forcing myself to get on a regular writing schedule, but my habits are still woefully unstructured and don’t allow me to be that prolific.

    I don’t have any answers for you, but know that you’re not alone in this.

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