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It’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group Wednesday, a chance to reflect on success and struggles, words and worries, friendship and fears. Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for his continued stewardship of IWSG and to our monthly co-hosts along the way.
Learn more about IWSG and sign up IWSG Site. (And now we have cool T-shirts, too!)
Wordless pages wait
Winter’s void blankets the mind
Melting thought fills page
A month ago I knew I was entering into a long spell of limited writing time. Unfortunately (at first, anyway) I sorely underestimated how little time I’d get to put words into some decipherable order. Matched with only one fly fishing trip in the last eight weeks, I found myself on the verge of total collapse and giving up.
My blog sat unchanged, unattended, and scarcely visited. And I tried not to care. My journal stayed home over three long weekend trips; reading material as well. After all, it was simply “life” that had to be taken care of, right? Writing would wait, had to wait. Besides, it’s just words, right?
Anxiety, doubt, and insecurity mounted as I worked long days in the yard and around our home. The work didn’t inspire creative thoughts, but instead buried them deep with each turn of the shovel. Hammered nails drove them inside posts of wood, forever closing the coffin on my works.
It sucked. I wondered if I’d ever resurrect any my work, let alone start something new. Deadlines approached but the new lawn was more important. In desperation I decided to do something, anything related to writing. I ended up listening to the NCW Podcast with award winning Dr. Laura Pritchett, author of the newly released Red Lightening. A month before I had finished her previous release Stars Go Blue and attended a workshop given by her April.
During the podcast (NCW Podcast with Laura Prichett) Laura mentioned her next project was a collection of short stories and that she was taking the next year to study the craft of the short story (even though her’s are mostly complete.) At first, that put me further in despair. If an author with a doctorate in writing is taking time to study this craft, what the heck am I even doing with a pencil in my hand?
After collecting my tattered confidence, I purchased a book on poetry titled Ten Windows: How Great Poetry Transforms the World by Jane Hirshfield. A tough read for me, with its in-depth study of different poets and various poetry forms, but I’ve stuck with it.
After a few chapters I picked up the pencil and began writing again. Stilted at first, I’ve kept some momentum and have produced a small collection of 20 or so Haiku along with a few other pieces.
Suddenly, life wasn’t such a crap pile. Sure I still haven’t made it fishing, but looks like that happens tomorrow. And I’m writing today and look forward to continuing to read Jane’s book and also the latest issue of The Sun.
Deadlines are now, again, incentives to be a better writer and a chance to publish something new. It was deep and dark, the place I found myself, but I didn’t give up. The words waited and I am thankful for their strength in my life. There is no giving up, only pausing, waiting for the wonder of creativity to find a place its place to shine.
How about you: have you found yourself in a scary, fear-of-writing-place? Share you story of recovery and hope with us.