Friday, July 10, 2009

Why Aren't You Writing?

I get this (very flattering) question from time to time from people who read me here...and I love that they ask...I love that whether or not I'm writing matters to someone other than me...I love that there are people who care enough about me to wonder what I'm up to when they can't read about it.

So thank both of you.

And, truth be told, I've been feeling the pull of creativity lately. The weight of the words in my head has been bearing down without yielding. I want to play with words and phrases and tell stories and wonder out loud. I've always said that my writing comes by the grace of a fairly fickle Muse, but I actually think she's been nearby lately...

A newcomer to the blog asked me this morning: why haven't you been writing?

...and therein lies the betrayal: I have been writing. In some ways, I feel like I've been writing nonstop. I've bantered over email...initiated "get to know you" conversations...chatted with long lost friends...written notes...crafted issue papers and justifications and program plans for work...bantered some more...and written a long treatise on why I expect a potential date to see me for more than my outward appearance (in response to a friend who suggested that all anyone really wants is a hot bod).

I have been writing. I just haven't been writing with any direction. It turns out my Muse is a tramp who will be satisfied with any wordplay I offer...even soundbytes scattered here and there.

And THAT is why I think I'm terrified at the prospect of taking on a real writing challenge. I have no idea if I can toss the Muse in a box and make her dance when I command it...focus her attention on the One Big Thing that needs writing...coax her into performing when she's tired and sated. Maybe being able to control the Muse is what separates "real" writers from armchair scribblers. Maybe I'm more of a scribbler...

...or maybe all that is a fairly crappy excuse and I just haven't tried.

...and maybe I should.

1 comment:

Labelmaker said...

May I suggest "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott? Its an excellent read even if you dont want to read about writing and life. With chapters entitled "Shi!!y Firsts Drafts" how can you go wrong?

It's probably at the library and Amazon is selling used copies for under $4.

Go. Read. Then write.