the desire to write

I’ve gotten something back, something that up and left, oh, about six months ago while I was agonizing over my thesis. I’m talking about the desire to write.

I’ve been doing three things since the beginning of the year with regards to my writing:
-forcing myself to write because I feel I should, as in, “I guess I better do some writing now…”
-guilting myself into it, i.e., “come on Elizabeth, all of these other people are getting published and making progress, and what are you doing?”
-not writing and not caring, as in “Gee, maybe writing was just a phase. I think I’ll become an artist/designer/editor/dog walker/teacher/fill in the blank now.”

But for the past several days I’ve felt something that has been absent since last spring, when I was still taking a workshop in my MFA program: a twinge, the compulsion to sit down and craft a piece of writing beyond a blog post or a journal entry or a doodle with a few words added to describe my mood or the weather. When I was in school I wrote so much — I think one semester I had two workshops and slammed out nearly 200 pages in 12 weeks, in addition to reading some 20 books — that when I didn’t write, I felt off. Off, as in, cranky, or like I had neglected to eat — that’s how important and necessary writing had become to me. When I didn’t do it, I felt it. It was physical.

As you can imagine, when that feeling went away, I was frantic. I’ve been waiting for it to come back. And in the past couple of days it has. I’ve been wondering why — why now? why not six months ago, or three months ago? What’s changed? Well, yesterday I went to work in an office briefly, and on the way home the desire to write was overwhelming. Unfortunately I had other things to do and couldn’t take advantage of it. But it made me wonder…Is working from home hurting my desire to write? There are tons of writers who would kill not to have to go into a soul-sucking office situation every day. I am lucky to have had the time to write this year, as well as some income from freelance work, which means that I don’t have to go to work in a cube. But what if I need that other nine-to-five life to drive my writing, to keep me motivated in my creative life?

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5 thoughts on “the desire to write

  1. You needed a break, whether consciously or subconsciously–you took it, perhaps unwillingly, but you did. And you will write again, despite and/or because of your new schedule.

  2. Isn’t it funny how this writing thing works sometimes? You’re busy with a jillion other things, and that’s when inspiration and desire make their reappearance. Weird.

  3. It is weird when inspiration hits! And yes, Jade, I will write again…today! My “new” schedule was temporary, and thus my worry over a potential loss of daily writing inspiration and motivation. But, the good thing is, I’m free to write today.

  4. I like the three stages of not writing and or not/writing you describe post MFA. Each day I wake up and feel as if I am in one of those stages but I couldn’t put it into words. Thank you for writing this! And I’m glad you got the desire to write! Good. :)

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