Friday, May 30, 2008

Balance

Words: none yet
Caffeine: morning cup so far
Evil Calories: many pieces of dark chocolate
Reality TV: DVR'ed Top Chef

Writing and I are not getting along right now. We have officially hit a rough patch. It's the same old story. We go through the motions, trying to keep things going, but our hearts are just not in it. I know we'll push through, but I don't understand how I can go from feeling like I'm writing pure bliss, to feeling like every word I type is stupid, contrived, ridiculous and most likely spelled wrong. It's like getting a great new hair cut, and being all excited and proud to show it off every day. But then one day you wake up and it just doesn't look cute anymore. It's suddenly all frizzy and weird, and slightly butt-shaped. Was it this way the whole time and you were caught up in the newness that you didn't notice the little flaws? Or maybe the cut was magnificent at inception, but now that you have to deal with it day to day as it grows, it's not as amazing as you thought.

I will admit, part of the problem is that I'm human, and my humanness is catching up with me. I don't care what any writer says, rejection is just hard to take. If you say it doesn't bother you, you're lying, so just stop. Rejection should bother you. Perhaps in the long run, it pushes you more to succeed, but initially it feels like crap on a crap cracker. But I've learned a lot from my cute little mountain of rejection. The biggest is that writing cannot be your only source of joy. If you're a struggling writer, you must do other things that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside to balance things out.

Now, I have lots of things in my life that make me all warm and fuzzy. My husband, my son (coolest child ever in the history of time), running (my first 5K is coming up next weekend!), and, my newest thing...learning how to make French pastries. That way I don't have to make my daily trip to the Whole Foods bakery for their Pan Au Chocolat (which aren't really that great anyway). So yesterday I attempted Madeleine cookies. They exploded in my oven and now my kitchen smells like funky orange rind, but what was salvaged from the pan tasted pretty damn good. And I sat and ate the withered crumbs and actually wrote a few non-vomitous sentences. I think I'm on to something here...

3 comments:

Girl Works said...

Hey, could you prefect the French pastry-making by the next time I'm there? ;)

It's always good to walk away from whatever it is you've been focusing on and give yourself a little breathing room to fill the well again!

Elizabeth said...

But I wasn't lying.
But I wasn't telling the whole story either. If I wasn't getting at least a few things published and only getting rejections, well that would deflate my balloon a tad.
*
I have days too when my writing feels so unnatural to me. I want to erase what I've written. But I find if I let it stay, the next time I sit to write I find it wasn't so bad after all.
Just the head space I was in.

Be Well.
I bet your writing is great. I keep coming back to your bog don't I? It's not just for your evil calorie counter.
You have a way with words.

Eileen said...

ooooh I know this feeling. Sing it sistah.