Your story is not right. You are not in the mood. But you keep pushing yourself to write because you know you won't have the time to do it later. But is it worth it to burn the midnight oil like that?
Creative derailment. A concept I knew of but I had no words to describe until a recent online conversation with a good friend. The hideous feeling that you're wasting your time. Purposeless. Overwhelmed by life and the enormity of it all.
'What do you do when you don't feel the creative force?' he asked.
'You take a break' I typed without a second thought.
'But is there a too long? I just want to make sure I am not broken'
My friends' conundrum inspired me in ways I could not explain as we changed the subject onto something more mundane. Because the answer came to me the moment he said that.
Us writers are broken by nature. We are curious creatures that see things others don't. Seeking refuge on creativity to deal with the outside world. And I rather be like that, proud of my precious scars, than to live an empty existence with no stories to tell.
That made me think of the Japanese Kintsugi or 'golden repair'.
'When a bowl, teapot or precious vase falls and breaks into a thousand pieces, we throw them away angrily and regretfully. Yet there is an alternative, a Japanese practice that highlights and enhances the breaks thus adding value to the broken object. It’s called kintsugi (金継ぎ), or kintsukuroi (金繕い), literally golden (“kin”) and repair (“tsugi”).'
Have I lost you? I hope not.
And I look forward to what you have to say even when you feel down. Hell, especially on the odd day you feel like you don't belong inside your own skin. Because your words at your lowest may inspire someone else on the other side of the world. Like my friends' did.
Let's pick up the pieces and take the time to mend the cracks that surface when we all we want to do is to quit writing. Let's be gentle with ourselves, pick up a good book, watch a film or reach out to a friend. You can even laugh at Gary's tweets if that takes your fancy.
Whatever you do, embrace how broken you are. And keep writing.
You know where to find me @SilvBrownWriter