Monday, September 26, 2011

Waking Up From Your Lifelong Dream

wake-up-earlyI haven’t written anything in a while.  No big shocker there; the lion’s share of my writing “career” has been filled with long chunks of not-writing, sometimes measured in weeks, sometimes in years.  Generally I’ll get on a tear and write a ton in a short amount of time, then piss away my gains with a month or two of inactivity.  That’s always worked for me.  I’ve never been a do-the-same-thing-at-the-same-time-everyday type, but not for lack of trying.  Binge and purge, so to speak.  That’s my way.

That’s not to say, though, that those spurts of inactivity are completely wasted.  I’ll mull over projects, think my way through a tough patch, even cast the film version of the book that hasn’t even found its way out of chapter one.  Most of all, though, I lament.  And admonish.  And urge: I have to write, I have to write, I have to write.  And then I do.  And if I may say so, the stuff that gets written is all the better for having waited.  The point is, though, in the same way scientists suggest the vacuum of space is actually teeming with activity, the empty spaces between productive writing sessions are usually anything but a cold, silent vacuum.

Until now.

Over the last few months, I haven’t given a whole lot of thought to my writing, except a generic, “I really need to write something”.  I hate say this, but I just haven’t been that into it lately.  A big reason behind that is my new job, and the inherent stresses involved there.  I’ve been busy, but there’s more to it than that.  My blog used to push out all my other responsibilities, but now I find myself there less and less.  I’ve always procrastinated in my writing, but much of that was about getting the words right, not about lack of interest.  If I didn’t always have a story on the page, I always had one in my head.  And if all else failed, I usually found time to at least worry about writing if not actually do it.

Until now.

So what’s changed?  I don’t now, maybe nothing.  Maybe this is an advanced, mutated form of writer’s block, attacking not only my ability to write, but my desire as well.  Maybe I’ll get over it once my life’s settled down.  Or maybe I’m too settled down.  I’m happier and more content than I’ve ever been.  Maybe that’s the problem: maybe the drive’s gone away.

Do I still want to write?  Hell yeah.  Do I need to?  I thought I did, but now I don’t know.  The real question is: to be successful, not necessarily in monetary terms, but truly successful, on the page, do you need to need to?

I don’t know.


  1. I went through a spell of a year and a half without a desire to write. Didn't start back up again until this past summer. I don't want to be writing just because I need to produce something though.

  2. Very interesting.

    The creative life is full of ups and downs. When I dedicated myself to my career in advertising a number of years ago, I completely stopped writing creatively. (Unless you consider TV spots about Happy Meals, insurance and airlines creative.)

    Anyway, I got recharged a few years ago by reading and writing what I loved as a kid: stories of adventure and fantastical worlds. That's when I found my voice again.

    For years, it was literary fiction for me. I was a literary snob. I am so glad I rediscovered the YA genre and all the great books it inhabits.

    So anyway, let your heart and mind lead you. Whatever you decide, it'll be true to where you are at this time in your life.

    Best to you, Dan.

  3. The writing will come when you want it to. In the meantime enjoy life. You never know when it may end.