I just read Christina Ochs’ The Rolling Writer blog. Her recap of her writing year is totally awesome!
As for me, I feel like I’m standing in the middle of a river yet I’m dying of thirst. That would be a river of words, in this case. For years I’ve loved journaling, writing stories from those journals, one magazine article, and a column for a denominational newsletter for two years. I’ve messed around with poetry some. But the last couple years I’ve read SO many books and blogs about writing that I feel like I’m drowning in information.
Having loved school and college, I’m one of those folks that think the more you know about a subject the better you can use the info. But I’m finding that not to be the case with this whole writing thing. For some reason reading so much about it has taken all the fun out of it for me. Perhaps because there’s so many standards out there that seem way too high to reach?
So just start writing stuff! I told myself. And that’s what I’ve been doing for awhile now. But I’m not finding the fulfillment from it I thought I would. It’s a great puzzlement to me, though I’ve experienced something like it before.
I’ve loved cross stitching since I was very young. The fun thing about it was to find a pattern that reminded me of someone then make it for them as a surprise. Somewhere along the way I lost track of how many of those suckers I did. Then one day my sister asked me to make one for her that would match her newly decorated living room. She wanted flowers, but couldn’t find a pattern with the colors to match. So once she found a picture she liked, I ended up converting all the colors to what she wanted. It was a huge job.
She asked me to do that again. I obliged (though I didn’t have to change the color palette that time). Then she asked me again, and I just couldn’t do it. I got half way through the sucker and asked my friend to finish it. It had totally sapped the joy out of cross stitching for me.
I suspect that’s what’s happened with the writing. I thought having a blog would be just the thing to put a bit of pressure on me to not dawdle, would give me something to be accountable to. Now I’m wondering if dawdling is what I’m good at. Do I want to write a book? Maybe. I have a finished manuscript that’s mediocre that I could start going back through now, but I have no drive to do that.
So maybe being an author isn’t the thing about writing that actually motivates me. And truthfully, I don’t think writing on the computer does, either. I LIKE the feel of a pen in my hand, the sound the tip makes as it scratches over the paper in my journal. I like the smell of the ink and the way it flows onto the page. I like feeling as if I’ve become one with the writing. That’s the way I felt with the cross stitching, too.
So here I am with this blog thingy wondering what in the world to do with it. Maybe I won’t do anything. Maybe I’ll come back now and then and post something. I DO know I won’t stop reading the blogs I’m subscribed to. I’m constantly amazed at the talent I’ve seen here. Amazed that you don’t all have best sellers on the shelves. And I’m learning as I’m reading. Maybe that’s what the take away is from getting involved on WordPress, just the fact that I’m learning.
Whatever I end up doing, I figure I need to find my footing before the first of the year. Worrying about all this is making me think too dern hard. I just want it to be fun.
So right now I’m off to write our family Christmas letter a bit late as I wanted to wait until we had tons of pixs of our new grandson who was here for Christmas. It falls along the lines more of desktop publishing, which I enjoy immensely. It gives me a chance to be really creative visually.
It’s so hard knowing what you really want to do with your time when you have so much of it, I’ve decided. Being retired definitely has its downside. Jerome K. Jerome once said, “It’s impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do.” I’m sure finding there’s a lot of truth in that.