Another month has flown by since Christmas and I haven’t written a spec…of anything. It’s not that nothing is happening in my life or the world that I couldn’t comment on, but nothing has tugged at my shirtsleeve and said “You have to write about this!”. So what is one to do? After years of writing I finally have a small following – which I truly appreciate – but I’ve had nothing to offer you as of late…not even any photographs. Some might term this lack of inspiration writer’s block, but to be honest I think it has a lot more to do with my daily routine which has changed significantly since September.
After years of staying home with my kids, I decided it was time to rejoin the workforce. That decision is, of course, easier than actually joining the work force. I worked briefly in retail but when I was given only evenings and weekends (which were the only times I had to spend with my kids), I decided the job was not for me. That was last spring. I took the summer off. WELL! Who wouldn’t?? And then, after much thought, decided that childcare was the perfect solution to my predicament.
And in almost every aspect it is the ideal job for someone like me. I’m my own boss. I can still be home for my kids. I get a little extra income. Bases covered right? Well, no not really. By the time the daycare children are picked up by their parents, I’ve got to get dinner on the table, help my kids with their homework and/or drive them to lessons and/or grocery shop, and finally get them in bed. At this point I can either prepare for my next day of work or pass out in utter exhaustion. It is usually the latter. So, where’s the room for writing?
Because I can’t seem to find a consistent time to write each day, my thoughts don’t formulate toward any one topic over the course of the day like they used to. Basically, I’ve fallen out of practice. Sometimes I look back at things I’ve written in the past and think in amazement “I wrote THAT?” And then I despair that my writing now cannot compare at all. So I don’t write. It’s a rather unproductive cycle, isn’t it? Am I my own worst critic? Probably but when you’re a writer, initially, self-confidence is the thing that gets you to type that first letter on a blank page.
Luckily…actually, I may give myself more credit here…wisely, I joined a writers’ group here in Ottawa. We meet once a month under the direction of an experienced novelist. Since joining, I can’t say that I’ve produced much but I can say that it has at least given me the push to think about writing and this inspiration gets renewed after every meeting. I do have a story that I started several years ago that I wish to finish. I also wish to write more here. But how can I do that in my current predicament?
15 minutes…maybe 30. Journaling was a word that came up a lot in last night’s meeting. The more I think about it, the more I see the value in it. It may not finish my story. It may not be an interesting blog post to anyone but the writer. But a journal entry, or a group of them can showcase patterns of thoughts that you might miss if they were still floating around in your head…unconnected. It may be the trail of breadcrumbs that leads to more focused writing. I’m going to give it a try. It may not happen every night but I will try to be consistent about it in some way or other. 15 minutes…maybe 30…as often as possible?
I will try to be here more often too and I’m hoping the journaling leads me back here with something concrete to say.
Hope the days are treating you well. Hope to see you again soon. Wish me luck.