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Emotional Free-writing Entry #1

Sometimes I feel like I’m going in circles. Never-ending, unbreakable, static circles. It’s like I’m running forward, but I keep seeing the same scenery. Sometimes, I even feel like maybe I’m a little crazy–because, isn’t the definition of crazy doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

Sometimes, I feel like everything outside of family and survival is a vain waste of time. It’s a weird numbness that distorts reasoning. I listen to life going on around me at work and think to myself, “What exactly is the point here? Does any of it really matter?” Logically, I know the answers to the questions, but I don’t really feel it. What I feel is tired and this fatigue stalks me every minute, every hour, every day of my life. Physical exhaustion.

Okay, so maybe it’s my fault–I know for a fact that I’m sleep deprived. But aren’t we all? So, if everyone is sleep deprived, why am I failing so spectacularly to cope with it? I feel it in my legs, I feel in my arms, in my chest. I feel it in my mind and soul. I’m so tired. I don’t have the energy to be positive or to take the actions that might make life a little better. Its all I can do to get up and go through the day like some kind of animatron. Rinse and repeat. I’m reminded of that song by Nine Inch Nails, “Every Day Is Exactly the Same.” That’s how I feel and isn’t that just hopeless?

Writing brings color to my life. Its the one thing that I can do that makes me feel better. Some people jog, some people paint, some people build–I write (and read). But even that has become a chore. I open my Word doc and just sit and stare at it feeling numb and overwhelmed. It feels like an insurmountable task…yet, I crave it with my whole being. I don’t understand. How can I crave something so bad and not be able to carry it through? What is the obstacle that is holding me back? Is it because my mind is so dull and numb and foggy? Is it a lack of discipline? I really don’t understand, which only serves to make me feel even more frustrated. If I can’t figure out the cause, how can I ever hope to find the solution?

Frustration seems to be my main mode these days. Frustration with my job, frustration with my writing, frustration with my body, frustration with things I’d like to say to people but can’t (to keep the peace), frustration with things going on in my family that I can’t fix…frustration in all shades and forms bleeding through my being like poison.

Is this normal? I really don’t know. I feel like I’m at the whim of every breeze that blows. Which is also frustrating because I’m the kind of person who likes to be firmly in control…and I haven’t felt like I could control anything in a very, very, very long time.


How Much Time Do You Need To Write?

How Much Time Do You Need To Write?.

I’m late to the whole writing scene–not that I haven’t always enjoyed it or that I didn’t dream of being an author when I was young–but its only been recently (2006) that I realized I was actually capable of sitting down and writing a story from beginning to end. I’ve never had confidence in myself in much of anything. Now that I’m actually surprising myself by churning out written work, I’ve begun devouring all I can find that promises to make me a better writer. One of the things I’ve discovered in all the things I’ve read, everyone has their own ideas about who a writer is and how writing is accomplished and the best ways to approach it.

Applying my discoveries to this article, which I thought was fantastic, I find that how much time one needs to write varies widely among authors. I most closely identify with Catherine in that I tend to write in circles. I have a tendency to tinker as I write so that I might spend an hour on a paragraph. Also, I need to feel like I’ve got a significant amount of time to spend on it, because if I feel any kind of time restraint, it causes me to freeze up with anxiety. I’m trying to teach myself to get beyond this by blogging short things as I have time and the last time I participated in NaNoWriMo, I forced myself to just write without giving in to my instincts to edit and tinker as I went. I found that it was really good for actually getting a lot done in a short period of time, but as I go back and edit, I also find it a little difficult to get myself back into that same head-space and feel the scene as I did when I wrote it.

I find that writing is one of the most challenging and, yet, rewarding things I’ve ever done (besides having kids, etc.)…so, even though I sometimes get discouraged about the time issues and the writing technique issues, I don’t think its something I’m willing to give up on.

My WIP Has Teeth

“A work in progress quickly becomes feral. It reverts to a wild state overnight. . . it is a lion growing in strength. You must visit it every day and reassert your mastery over it. If you skip a day, you are, quite rightly, afraid to open the door to its room. You enter its room with bravura, holding a chair at the thing and shouting, ‘Simba!’”

~Annie Dillard

Yes, quite. Works in progress tend to grow intimidating, their teeth razor sharp, if you don’t stay with them on a regular basis. But I have not been devoured just yet.