When words fail me

3 Feb

I say this, not because I want a medal, but to acknowledge the ramifications of my personal choices. I work a full-time job, an avid knitter and teacher, and I’m getting my Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. I also share my home with my partner of over 11 years. With a schedule so full, as it often is, I relish time to have to sit and imagine, to consider my own personal narrative and which parts of it I want to capture for upcoming writing workshop assignments.

Today, I woke up at 6:30, eager to brew that first cup of coffee and sit down at the computer. This I did do, and write I did. But about two hours into the experience, I felt like the story was expanding, or the scenes I had captured could become bigger pieces to include in my thesis. I got caught up in the structure I adopted early on, but the content was not playing well with it to the extent I wanted it to. It just wasn’t working for me.

I think some would argue that even if you get crap down, or you aren’t particularly pleased, at least you spent your time writing, and perhaps what you captured will lead you to another path on which you will find literary bliss. That may be true, but I can tell you there is no bliss today. And not because I couldn’t find the perfect word at the right time. I know better. They often don’t come like that. My frustration is more that my time is so limited and when I have time earmarked for homework or for writing, I want to make the most of it. I did do what I set out to do this morning, and even tried to do some more brainstorming and mind mapping this afternoon, to no avail.

I have been unquestionably sequestered in my home this weekend, leaving it only to run a few brief errands yesterday. Perhaps the cabbage just needs a bit of fresh air? Perhaps more research is the order of the day?

Whatever today’s solution, I will begin again tomorrow, picking up where I left off. For now, I will read and listen and observe, on constant watch for inspiration, for words.


3 Responses to “When words fail me”

  1. Derek-Burlington, Ontario February 3, 2013 at 7:12 PM #

    I always enjoy the way you put words to paper….even when you can’t. Have a terrific week!

  2. Bethany February 3, 2013 at 10:41 PM #

    It’s hard not to be discouraged when time is limited, but it sounds like you might have hit a gold mine. If everything wants to expand, maybe you can think of the work as an outline or brainstorm rather than a draft.

  3. Cid February 5, 2013 at 2:50 PM #

    Maybe you need to shake it up a bit. If you usually set aside time in the morning, try writing at night for a week or two. If you’re married to the computer, start using pen and paper. Dictate to yourself in the car. Limit yourself to no more than a half-hour at a time. Make yourself stop when the half-hour is done and go on to something else. Write less instead of more. Edit a single idea down to its three-word essence. You’d be surprised what a little change-up can do to your psyche!

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