The husband and I had an interesting conversation last night.
Right now, we’re visiting in the US (where he’s a citizen) so he can get some work experience, and so we can decide which country we want to live in permanently. What this means, though, is that right now, I’m not working at all (because I legally can’t) so I pretty much am using this time to get back into writing full-time. After a nasty bout of writer’s block after my grandfather’s death, I’m finally finding my voice again, and that’s pretty great. The problem, though, is that I can feel them there under my skin – the words, I mean – but I can’t for the life of me force them out. I’ve spent days just doing nothing – not relaxing, but also not putting out as many words as I would like (hence the photo challenge).
My theory is that I’ve let too many people become involved. I’m asked all the time by well-meaning family types how the writing is going, and if I’m producing things, or if I’ve gotten published, and I appreciate the concern and interest. I really do. But it’s strangely stifling being asked that so constantly. I feel pressured to write something amazing right off the bat, and so the words… they just…. won’t come.
I’m partially just being super judgmental – which words are worthy, and which aren’t – but I’m also stressing myself out worrying about what they’ll think if I fail.
I don’t know exactly what I’m going to be failing at, but I’m terrified I’m going to.
My husband’s advice was basically to relax, which is something I’m seriously bad at, and to just enjoy myself for now. When the words want to come, they’ll come. There’s no point forcing them the way I’ve been doing lately. It’s good to write every day, and use prompts, and practice, but also to take the time to get away from writing for a while. It’s like when you can’t remember the word for something – you stop thinking about it, and it’ll come to you eventually.
It makes sense, but I’ve never been very good at relaxing. I’m used to being busy all the time, so finding exciting ways to fill my time is difficult. Luckily, I was smart and brought my sketchbooks with me, so I can be creative that way, and sketching tends to help me think. We also brought the XBox, but for some reason I feel super guilty about gaming all day when I should be writing.
“Should”. I make it sound so much like an obligation. Maybe that’s why I’m resisting myself so much.
God, I love language.
What sorts of things do you do to relax? To get inspired?