I am not participating in NaNoWriMo this year. The time commitment is simply too much at this point. Additionally, as I have mentioned before, I do not write fiction. Every time I have ever attempted it, I have failed miserably. Yes, I recognize that as a great reason to participate, especially given that the goal is to write, not edit, thereby maximizing one’s creativity without the pressure of perfection.
However, I have learned to accept that all creative and artistic endeavors involve ebbs and flows. There are times when I just can’t tear myself away from the keyboard because the urge to write is so strong. There are other times when writing gives way to other pursuits and, due to any number of factors, I dread sitting down at the keyboard.
The last couple of weeks, I have been experiencing the latter.
Why? There is no reason in particular that I can pinpoint … and there are myriad reasons. My attention is drawn to other matters right now — real life considerations. I find that my musical pursuits tend to follow the same pattern. There are times when all that I want to do is make music and then there are days when I have to make myself pick up my flute or piccolo, or sit down at the piano keyboard.
I haven’t felt like writing all weekend, for instance, but have been unable to put my flute away. In fact, my cheeks are actually sore as I type this because I just finished rehearsing for more than three solid hours. It was an intensely productive practice session and one that I sorely needed because I have holiday season performances coming up.
For a period of time last spring and into the early summer, the opposite was true. I completed a lot of writing — some of which I was very satisfied with — but hardly practiced my instruments. I was burnt out from the weeks of concentrated and focused preparation for my trip to New York City and performance at Carnegie Hall. That was indeed a “mountaintop” experience — a lifetime dream fulfilled. Afterward, I found myself working to formulate new musical goals because, after all, that was a huge accomplishment for every member of my band, as well as our director, that gave rise to a brief period of asking myself, “Now what?”
I know from experience that my need to write will return and when it does, I will be ready. I have a lot of ideas for articles percolating right now. They will come to maturity and fruition in good time. The best thing I can do is not fight how I am feeling because, as I have also learned the hard way, trying to talk myself into feeling creative is a losing proposition.
Californication, the Showtime series starring David Duchovney that just wrapped its first season, is currently one of my favorite shows, in large part because Duchovney’s character, Hank Moody, is a writer. More pointedly, he is a writer who did not write anything for a long time, causing his agent, daughter, and ex-lover much consternation. Duchovney’s portrayal of Hank is a revelation — who knew he could play such a complexly flawed character? He is fascinating and infinitely relateable as he struggles to find inspiration and his literary voice.
Like Hank, my writing and blogging “mojo” will be back. In the meantime, I will wait patiently and give myself permission to not feel much like writing until . . .
Do you experience ebbs and flows of your passion for writing and desire to express yourself? Leave a comment!