Nothin’ Doin’


Lately, I don’t have much at all to say about writing because I haven’t done any. In fact, I’m not sure I’ll do any more.

Okay, technically that’s not true. I’m writing right now, doing this post. And I have to do the revisions and corrections on the technical book I finished in January. But fiction writing? Nope, nothin’ doin’.

I don’t have any ideas. I don’t have even the slightest spark of creativity, but at least now I know what’s wrong. (It was a little ambiguous and vague before, but I have a clear handle on what’s wrong right now.) I don’t have any motivation, even to edit past works.

Recently, I read on an agent’s blog the statement “If you can give up writing, you absolutely should” (or something very close to that). At this point, I think the question of whether I can is settled. Oh yes. I can. I have, for an extended period of time now. I have a million excuses why, but the long and short of it is, I did it. If the agent’s statement holds true, then I need to set this aside for the rest of my life. It’s not something I can do. I’m not compelled to write anything. I’m not compelled to keep pounding and getting things out. I know a lot of writers who say they can’t help but write. Well, I’ve discovered I can, and in some ways, there’s a lot of freedom in that discovery. I can be free to stop pressuring myself to produce, to write something, anything, just get words down on the page, dammit. Now I can look at my computer and see something I don’t feel pressured to sit at and stare at. I can pass by my pens and pads and not feel guilty about not using them. I can have a tiny little image or movie pop into my head and not feel required to jot it down, embellish it, make it into something “useful”. I can go to sleep and dream without the anxiety and worry of perhaps missing something if I don’t write it down, remember it somehow, get it all out of my head.

The sound of the wind whistling through my empty skull is sort of soothing.

I don’t know what it all means, if it’ll stick or not, or whether to even care. Right now my priorities are elsewhere than writing and I don’t have time to worry about it. So many of you expressed support and encouragement when I told you about the technical book, and I appreciate those sentiments truly and deeply. But when you asked whether I expected any further work from them or said maybe it would turn into something more, my stomach flip-flopped and I almost passed out. I don’t know if ever want anything more again. I really don’t.

Thank you for being friends and reading whatever falls out of my fingertips here. I really appreciate it. But this is about as much writing as I can muster and frankly, it’s all I want to muster. And I don’t even feel compelled to do this every day as I did before.

*Whew!* There. I said it. I don’t think I’m a writer. And I feel better for having said it.

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.

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11 thoughts on “Nothin’ Doin’

  1. I think you should write erotica for large people. I think it’s an untapped market.

    This is not a joke, I’m being serious here. Write porno for plumpers.

    Being a plumper, I’d have firsthand experience. But no. Thanks, but I don’t think I can write anymore. Not in the foreseeable future.

    • HAHAHA! The “he lifted her stomach so he could see her (fill in the blank)” variety?

      I once read an erotic story about two people getting it on in a Caddilac. At the end the author revealed they were two homeless people. I thought it was rather clever at first, then I started thinking about smelly, homeless people having sex and I was a little grossed out.

  2. Just curious, when and why did you start writing originally?

    Let’s see … when? About as soon as I could hold a pencil and form words and sentences; my first work of any length came when I was in about sixth grade, I guess. And why? Because I love to tell stories. 🙂

  3. I’m sure you remember about a year ago when I said the same thing. I was completely done with writing, and it was a huge relief. That’s when I decided to try my hand at editing, which turned out to be a great experience. I’d never have done it if I’d still had the pressure of writing on my back, squashing the life out of me. I hope that you find the same freedom. If writing is a burden, you probably shouldn’t do it. You don’t need any more burdens right now, more pressure.

    I thought about your past experiences, but honestly, not until I saw you mention something on my last post. I just can’t get my head out of my own rear end lately. I’m not sure if this is a mistake or not. I WANT to write, I just … don’t. And when I try and make myself write it makes me sleepy. When I think about editing my stuff I get sleepy. I don’t know what that is if it’s not clinical procrastination, and maybe depression. I can’t take it. And I just have other priorities right now. 😦

    I’m not going to wish you’ll start writing again someday. The only way you can be free of it is to have not even the expectation of writing. So I’ll just say congratulations on your freedom. Whether you quit writing or write just for yourself or pursue publication, I support you.

    Thank you. 🙂

  4. Sometimes you just need a break. If/when you return to writing, you’ll find the time you lay fallow was actually a time of inner growth that will be reflected in your future work. Or you may move on to some kind of other artistic expression instead. I go through writing phases, photography phases, sketching phases, dancing phases, and I just let them be whatever they are.

    I did a lot of phasing when I was younger, but I think right now I’m just phasing OUT. 😉 Thanks for stopping by.

  5. My first impulse to say keep encouraging you. And I do. But then, I think about how people don’t believe me when I say I don’t want more children, and they think I’m wrong when I say, “I know that I can’t handle another child.” But I know this about myself. And I trust you to know yourself too.

    So, I encourage you be you and believe in what you’re doing. And it is fine. Be free. Come back. It is okay.

    Thanks.

  6. “The sound of the wind whistling through my empty skull is sort of soothing.”

    I know I’ve enjoyed my brain whistle for years.

    Like “train whistle” only lonelier.

  7. Does your heart break when you think of giving up on writing?

    No, it broke for a lot of other reasons a long time ago. This is just a nail in the coffin, I guess. I’d go back to it if I thought I could or should, but since none of those are true, it’s just over, I suppose.

  8. “The sound of the wind whistling through my empty skull is sort of soothing.”

    I know this sound.

    When I finished college I swore I would never read another book. Ever. All the fun had been taken out of reading and the most I could stand was a magazine article. Eventually I worked my way back to novels. I’m sorry to hear you feel the same way about writing. I think you have a lot of talent and I enjoy reading your fiction. Maybe if you shift the focus of your thinking to writing as a hobby rather than the driving force in your life and some of the pressure will be lifted. Whatever you do, you should enjoy it.

    Thanks. Much appreciated. 🙂

  9. Well I admire you not sticking to something you don’t feel anymore just because you can do it. You’re taking control of your life, not letting writing control you even though you don’t wanna do it anymore. It takes courage to make such a decision and you’ve got it.

    Well, thank you very much. That means a great deal to me coming from someone like you. May God richly bless you and keep you in the light of His love. I’ll remember you in my prayers every chance I get.

  10. I read advice from a writer that went something like this,

    “If there is anything else you can see yourself doing, and enjoying, more than writing – do that – because writing is too hard to pursue if it isn’t your greatest love.”

    And there is something to that idea. There is something to the advice the agent gave too.

    But if life were that simple, we would all be pursuing our bliss and getting paid for it. The truth is that most of us need a primary job and pursue writing in spurts, and sometimes they are not writing about what they are meant to write about. It is more likely that you haven’t discovered your style than it is that you are not a writer at all.

    You just had a book accepted for publication. Maybe it’s not the way you dreamed it would be but it is a step that many writers never reach – ever.

    It’s actually easier to say “I’m not a writer” than it is to accept that you are.

    That is the most interesting and insightful way of looking at this painful dilemma I’ve ever seen. Thank you, Annie. I’m very glad you took the time to say this to me. I’m in your debt.

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