Sunday, January 16, 2011

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Avoidance

The summer before last I took my first creative writing course. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned so much. The thing that stood out to me above all else is that all writers, (the honest ones anyway) go through times of tremendous self-doubt. A kind of writer's cramp sets in - like a cramp of the soul. All creative functions twist and seize up and paralysis sets in.

Knowing how to push past this shaming shutdown is the key. It starts with identifying the behaviours we use to avoid writing. Instead of writing: I clean the kitchen, eat something, surf the net, check and recheck my emails, check the Weather Network, throw in some laundry, plan meals, daydream about a past event, anticipate a future event, watch YouTube, look at my Picasa file, call my Dad, call a friend in B.C., go outside and walk the perimetre of the yard, check the garage, check airfares for some assumed vacation getaway with my husband, read the fishing regulations for Ontario and look at maps, listen to worship music, pray a bit and the most common thing - sit like a stone and lament.

None of these behaviours are very productive, except maybe the laundry one. None are inspiring, except maybe the prayer one. So I've learned new techniques. Looking at photos can lead to making up scenarios. Pure description can start a flow of words that could lead to a breakthrough. The key here is for me to write anyway. Write no matter what. Write, no matter how I feel about myself. Do it because in some way, I can.

So today, I will write. I will keep on a course of positivity and not let self doubt pull me off the page. And this is the reason. I am of reasonably sound mind, the Lord loves when I write, even just for him....and ....all my laundry is done.

2 comments:

  1. Accountibility is a necessity! I just 'wasted' an entire week with doing just the very same - checking for emails every hour, opening and reopening the fridge, divulging of the contents therein, looking out the window, checking the thermometer, wandering down to my studio, sitting at the easel, 'tidying up the messes', reading the junk mail, and not once picking up the paint brush. Thanks for being so honest and open - it is most encouraging and motivating to get me off my butt and 'just do it'!!! hugs Evelyn

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