Tag Archives: writing

If I was into the whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing, this just might be mine

This is my first post of the new year, but it’s by no means one of those “new year, new me” inspirational-type posts people get crazy and write at the beginning of a new year. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, and I plan on being the same mediocre writer this year as I was last year and years’ past.

That just came off super pessimistic, and I didn’t really intend it to. I just sometimes wonder why I can’t be a more dedicated writer. After all, after putting minimal thought into what I’m about to say next, I’ve realized that I’m not really “great” at any one particular thing, except maybe writing. I’m good at a lot of different things, and that’s cool. It’s what has made me so versatile over the years, and probably what’s also made me feel like I’ve never really fit into one specific type of “person” category (whether that’s a positive thing or not, I’m not really sure). I’m blessed with the natural ability to dance and move my body in a way that isn’t awkward or terrifying to the people around me, but I would very likely lose to someone else in a dance-off. Mainly because I repeat the same dozen dance moves over and over, and tend to incorporate a lot of head bobbing and face making into my improv routine. I’d like to think doing that makes me look like a female version of Ne-Yo, but more than likely I just end up looking like this:

kristen wiig.gif

I also have the natural inclination of being musically-talented; though never formally trained, I inherited a good set of pipes from my mother, and the ability to, like the rest of my family, play the guitar in a good-enough manner to resemble music. But I never had the range of both my mom and my sister to hit the high notes, and my guitar-strumming abilities are limited to the 10 or so main chords that make up any basic hit (but I guess that’s mainly my fault because I refuse to learn bar chords or anything that has to do with Bm). I’m good at yoga, but don’t do it frequently enough to call myself a yogi. I’m naturally athletic (enough to the point that I shocked all of Kevin’s colleagues on our co-ed softball team when I was able to proficiently catch, throw, hit, and run the bases during our intramural games; I honestly didn’t think catching a softball and throwing it to the next baseman was all that difficult, but apparently a lot of women can’t do it), but I haven’t been faithful as an athlete to any one particular sport since I played soccer in high school 10 years ago. As far as hobbies go, I’ve never really stuck with anything long enough to become skilled at it. I usually try it, get good enough to where I can perform above a beginner’s level, and consider it mastered. I’ve always been difficult to please, and it isn’t necessarily that I get bored with things easily, I just want to try so many different things I don’t feel there’s enough time to stick with one thing for a prolonged period of time. Except for writing.

For me, writing has always been the one go-to that I was just naturally born talented at (at least I think I am; people tell me I have a way with stringing groups of words together, but who can really say?). Maybe that’s why I neglect it so much more than I should. In a way, I’m probably taking it for granted, just assuming my talents will always be there no matter what. Because really, just like anything else, if I don’t hone my craft, it will probably just wither away, won’t it? Like an ill-watered houseplant, so desperate for a drink it’s willing to sacrifice its beautiful leaves in a last ditch effort to preserve its roots, its soul.

See? I can totally write things.

As I said before, I don’t make resolutions. I think it’s good to have goals, but resolutions seem too fleeting, like, the moment you achieve it, you will give yourself a nice pat on the back and revert to your old ways. I also don’t like the idea of using a new year as an excuse to stop being one way and start being another. If you want to make a change in your life, just fucking do it.

Therefore, I’m not going to make any resolutions for 2016. But I will say that I’d like to try to be more dedicated to my craft, because writing is basically all I’m really great at. And I’m okay with that. But if I don’t stop ignoring what I was pretty much put on this earth to do, I might not be able to do it well anymore. And that would be a tragedy. So hopefully for you, my faithful followers, you’ll be hearing a lot more from me this year than you did last year.

Who knows, maybe I’ll become so dedicated to my writing in 2016 that I’ll actually finish my novel and get it published, and my non-resolution this time next year will be writing a follow-up, or better yet, retiring early.

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The only thing that matters

Before, it didn’t matter what I

wrote

Or how long it took

Or how good it sounded

It only mattered that I

wrote.

It wasn’t about how many poems I could

crank out

Or how many syllables I

sounded out

Or how many blank pages I filled up.

It only mattered that I let the words spill from my brain to my

pen to

Ink stained on paper.

It wasn’t about how I could one-up someone else

Or if I was the best

Or if I was even someone

to begin with.

It didn’t matter if people liked what I had to say and it

didn’t matter if anyone read it

at all.

The only thing that mattered was that I wrote.

 

I’m starting to think I liked it better that way.

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Filed under moM Poetry Series, Poetry

What’s a writer without writing?

I never thought I wouldn’t want to write. That I would ever feel like I’m not even a proper writer anymore. My whole life, no matter what role I’ve played or job I’ve taken on, student, editor, teacher, any of it, I’ve always found a way to still keep that one part of me alive. Because it was always my saving grace. It was always my way to let out my anger or frustration or to distract myself from the positively mundane existence I was currently experiencing at the time. To write was to be who I truly am deep down at my core and now I feel like I’m losing myself. Does not writing mean I’m not a writer anymore? If I take a break, will I end up breaking from it indefinitely? These are the constant struggles I face within myself because, every time I gather an ounce of energy and motivation for my writing, there always seems to be some more pressing matter that gets in the way. Like doing the dishes. Or folding laundry. Or cleaning the house. Grocery shopping. Lesson planning. By the time I’ve done all these “grown up” things, the only energy that remains is enough to get me to the beach and get me comatose. There is nothing left. And even if there is, it isn’t enough to stimulate my brain to get the creative juices flowing and leak out something brilliant. So instead, I just find other distractions to pass the free time that I do have. Watching T.V. Playing mindless iPad games. Reading someone else’s greatest accomplishments. Publishing someone else’s piece of literary genius. All of which are enjoyable but none of which get me closer to my realization of being a published author, a writer with a purpose. It terrifies me to know I’m slipping further and further away from myself. I’m scared to think one day I might just wake up and not even remember who that person is anymore.

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I’m probably just lazy and unmotivated but let’s pretend that isn’t true

I used to be so much more ambitious.

I am now the biggest slacker I’ve ever been in my entire life, and I’m pretty much working more than I ever have. How does that make sense?

Maybe it’s because I had more free time when I was younger to devote to writing and sending out pieces to publications and submitting to contests and other things of that nature. I hope that’s what it is, because if it isn’t, that just means I’m getting lazy. Which I completely endorse when it’s regarding anything else, but I refuse to accept that excuse when it comes to my writing. When I was in college, and my only job was to be a full-time student (and even with my various part-time jobs on top of that, I still had plenty of free time), I had all these opportunities to write and get my work out there for others to read. And now, I can’t even keep this blog up-to-date, let alone get anything published anymore. It’s incredibly frustrating.

I swear, the more I become an educator, the less I am a writer. So much of my time during the week goes towards being at work or planning for work or taking classes to further my credentials so I can keep being paid to work. I wonder how other people find the time to do the millions of things they do, even when they work 48+ hours a week like I do (which I realize isn’t a lot, but really, it is when you aren’t salaried). Part of my problem I think is that there are so many other housekeeping things to get done during the week that by the time I come home and do all of those things, I’m exhausted and all I want to do is either lay on the couch and relax or go to sleep. It’s hard to force yourself to get back into a routine when it’s so much easier to just do nothing.

*****

Okay, so I just went back and reread a post I wrote two months ago and it is basically almost exactly the same as this one, except I don’t make as many excuses. I am the worst writer ever. Recycling topics that weren’t even that good the first time around? Seriously, what is my problem? I should basically just give up on my dreams of ever becoming a full-time writer.

But I won’t do that, because then what would you read to entertain yourself late at night when there’s nothing better to do? I think instead I’ll go churn out some more terrible blog posts and maybe a depressing poem or two. See you guys in about another month and a half…

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I want to be as good a writer as my former self

I have not written anything decent in a long time.

Aside from this blog (which I don’t update nearly as much as I say I’m going to or know I should) and the few scattered poems I’ve scribbled down on scraps of paper here and there recently, I haven’t actually sat down and given anything my all in quite some time. And I know I have no one to blame but myself. I could sit here and make a million and one excuses as to why I’m not putting writing at the top of my list of priorities; I work too much, I’m too tired when I get home, I just want to relax and do nothing and there isn’t much time for anything else, the list could go on, but none of them would be good enough to warrant neglecting the thing that is supposed to be the thing I want someone to pay me to do one day. Which leads me to think, if it isn’t important enough to carve time out of my day for, maybe it isn’t what I really want to do…

Oh my god, I take that back. I could never actually mean that. That was a terrible prank I just played on myself.

But for real, how do you motivate yourself to do the thing you love to do when you don’t feel like doing anything at all? I have been asking myself this question for years.

In my younger days (I swear, I’m an old person already who goes to bed by 10 p.m. every night, even on the weekends; I can only imagine what it will be like when I’m actually old, and probably going to bed by 7, which makes me sympathize with old people who do that because, shit, I never realized it before but that will probably be me. But that’s a story for another time so, moving on), I could get into patterns of writing, where I would work really hard on projects for weeks, sometimes months at a time, churning out semi-awesome work in a (somewhat) timely manner and feeling pretty damn good about myself. I look back on that writing, those works of genius, with pride and jealousy. I want to be that good again, but I’m not sure how.

Part of the problem (warning: I’m about to make an excuse) is that all of that fabulous creative writing I was doing was happening while I was in college, either working part-time or not working at all. Now, as someone who works roughly 50 hours a week (with children no less, who, despite how much I love them, can be quite taxing at times) my brain is fried and my body is ready for bed by the time I get home, and all I really want to do is lay on the couch and zone out for a few minutes before I have to do it all over again.

Maybe my problem isn’t lack of time, because there are 24 usable hours in every day (and I could probably spend less time at the beach on the weekends and get shit done), but I can’t seem to find the creativity and zest for writing I once had. Whenever I sit down and do actually try and write something, either mediocrity comes to the surface or nothing comes at all.

Okay, so writer’s block. That must be it.

I do feel okay blaming this all on a prolonged stint of writer’s block.

But then how do you overcome writer’s block? Shit, I’m back to square one.

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