When I teach writing workshops and we engage in “automatic” exercises or free-flow writing I tell participants to write without thinking. Just put the pen on the paper and go. If nothing comes then write, “Nothing is coming.” And just keep going. Even if you end up writing, “I don’t like this it’s stupid I can’t write I can’t think of anything to write I don’t want to be here,” you will have written something.
The idea behind this exercise is that if you persevere then something deeper will eventually come. Your I-don’t-like-this writing will eventually produce decent fruit.
I am reminding myself of this now as I write this blog post, the first in a very long time. I have challenged myself to write something because I am a writer and I have essentially given up writing. I still keep a journal and that is something. I write the occasional poem and that, too, is something. I write emails to people and that is something else. But I am not writing plays, articles, blogs or chapters of the unfinished book.
This lack of writing has not really been an issue for me. I haven’t been beating myself up or wondering why I’m not doing it. I let the blog go, I retired from showbiz and the book simply has not been pulling me. My life has taken a different turn.
And yet the fact remains: I am writer who is not writing.
A friend recently wrote me an email saying, “I want to encourage you to continue writing. I love your writing, always have. You may not want to continue in the film biz and I completely respect any decision you make, but I really think you have a gift. I hope that you will let it take whatever form it may. Be that short stories, scripts or a novel! Let it out girl!”
Being able to write well is a gift. I didn’t give it to myself! And because this ability was given to me I wonder… is it wrong not to use such a gift?
Some might say so. When I think about what has really brought me pleasure in life “Writing” is near the top of the list. So am I not writing because I just don’t feel like it or am I squandering my talents?
I don’t know the answer. But here I am. Feeling rusty and wondering what to say. Writing until something comes.
Inspiring Message of the Day: What are my gifts? If I have been given a particular gift I will do my best to offer it to others however small the offering might be.