At a Loss for Words

writing_pen_journalAnother 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.

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7 thoughts on “At a Loss for Words

  1. I think u cud hv used the title “loss of thoughts” for this post… awriter is nvr at loss of words…if u don’t know wat 2 write… its just loss of thoughts, opinions, views at that particular time… Its not that u don’t know how 2 frame ur words.. its just tat u don’t know exactly wat 2 frame at the moment…
    And for concrete posts… i wud jst say… look at every little thing..every little circumstances around u… n u vil get wat 2 write on… Its only tat sometimes v r so busy wid our lives & daily chores tat v miss the minute details around us.. wich r worth observing & turning them to words..

    Hv a good day…Keep posting… & Cheers… 🙂

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    1. Hi Akanksha. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I think really my issue is not having time to write. Your correct that I’m not really at a loss for words or thoughts…I just don’t have time to compile them cohesively. Lol! Cheers to you. 🙂

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  2. I’ll read anything you write Isobel.
    I don’t know how people can manage to have full-time jobs, raise kids, and still have a hobby. Maybe it takes getting used to, and with time people tend to find efficiencies that enable them to free up some time.

    Looking forward to reading your future posts.

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    1. Well, thank you Omar! That was an encouraging thing to say. I really do miss writing and I hope I can find one little “corner” of the day again that will allow me to get back at it. It may just be a matter of telling myself…you’re doing this! Now! 🙂

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  3. Your post struck a chord, which in turn resonated with pain and hope. Only superbly simple writing, like everything beautiful in the world, can do that to a person.
    I’ve been going through your predicament each and every day for almost 2 years now. I can’t say that in my case it’s for lack of time. I simply can’t concentrate, in the midst of the turmoil in Syria, deep enough to spill my mind in letters on a blank and staring page. Like you, I’m neither short on words nor on thoughts, but I’m torn between the personal and the communal. I think I’m repressing the former because of the latter and then find myself with absolutely nothing to say, or more precisely, to write. Over the holidays, I managed to escape from my trap, but was caught again and haven’t written a word since.
    You are an inspiring writer my dear friend and if this post can’t get me back to blog, at least, nothing can.

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    1. Abufares, if I’ve managed to inspired you to write then I’ve accomplished something far greater than I originally set out to do. I miss reading your blog very much. It was a lovely treat to follow your story but it would be an even greater pleasure to read you much more often. I hope that you will but I also completely understand why the events in Syria have sapped your desire to create. Maybe…all hopes of hopes…some day soon peace will return and so will our Tartoussi. 🙂

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