Thursday, May 21, 2009

Reaching for the words

It's been well over a month since I wrote anything (like a real anything -- not jobs or school or because a deadline was approaching) more than a few sentences. I'm not blocked, really; mostly there just hasn't been time. But when there has been time, a few pockets of it in surprising places, I've been... paralysed.

I know that I don't know enough about writing. I know that I'm not good enough at writing. In the past this knowledge never stopped me from actually doing it. Lately, however, I seem to see more clearly the enormous gap between where I am now and where I hope to be. And it's this gap that looms up before me whenever I go to write. I wonder if maybe I should just live more of life before I even try -- but I am not happy simply doing that, either.

I know the answer to my own unspoken questions: time. Time teaches. Time offers new experiences. Time is an apprenticeship. I know this, but sometimes it helps to type it out loud.

Time takes time.


  1. I used to feel like that, before I moved to Russia. And, even now, it´s really hard for me to write about Russia. I´m much too close to it. America, on the other hand, is quite easy to write about now that I have some distance. So is university, and childhood. Well, not easy... but I am not so blocked about them. I lived them, now have processed them and can look back with nice retrospective vision and cull stories from my experiences. Sometimes I do this about Russia, but it is harder to take that step back, since I am currently walking forward in this life.

    What if you don´t try to do any sort of amazing major theme and just work on techniques (description, showing not telling, relating amusing incidents) for a while? Would that help? Like a gymnast who spends hours doing cartwheels and stretches so that she can eventually put together that breathtaking routine for performance.

    Or maybe you just have to remember again that writing is fun. Write silly little sketches for Tain, for The Darlingest Baby, for your sis or your mum or a friend. Because, really, you write because you like it, right? Forget about books or writing correctly or being epic. Play around, be a kid.

    Your book will come. :-)

  2. Wow!! We must discuss this today :)

  3. True, time takes time! don't have to sit down to write a book. You can just sit down and write a blob of words. That (shhh) later might be turned into a book. But you don't have to tell yourself this and scare yourself off!

    Not that I know anything about writing a book! It's just how I have to deal with writer's block.

    'scuse me. I was just sayin' this to my uncle the other day. :O)

    Oh by the way, I love your blog!


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